Day in the Life

Chapter 21

Triangle Hearts

Hey! We're going back to the origins of Nanoha in this chapter here. That's right, Triangle Hearts 3 characters get a chance to show up and have fun!

One character, however, is not from Triangle Hearts 3. She's... a cross between a cameo crossover character and an OC. You'll see.


It amused Miyuki to no end that apparently, the new cell phone Nanoha had gotten her when she first came to Mid-Childa actually had a connection to Earth phones. She always had to do a double-take when she saw Kyouya's name on the screen.

Since she had the day off she'd been practicing her fighting moves, mostly just to stay in shape. Panting slightly as she set down her practice sword, Miyuki flipped the phone open. "Kyou-chan," she said. "Long time no talk."

"Hey, Miyuki." He laughed. "You sound winded."

"I was practicing. I don't want to lose my edge."

"That's good." Kyouya's voice became more serious. "I'm going to need your edge."

Miyuki stood up straighter. "Oh?"

"You remember Fiasse, right?"

Miyuki smiled slightly at the thought of her childhood friend. "Yeah, I remember her. What happened, she needs some help?"

"Yeah. She's had a few terrorist threats for her latest concert because she's traveling with a controversial artist, and Iria's a little concerned. You up for it?"

"Oh yeah." She smiled softly. "It's been a long time since I saw Fiasse."

"Good. Just remember, it's not a social gathering, as much as I'd like it to be one. How are mom, dad and Nanoha doing anyway?"

"They're doing great. Mom's settled in very well. She spends a lot of time with Lindy-san, helping Nanoha and Fate-chan out. Dad just opened a dojo, and it's doing very well. He gives Yuuno-kun tips on fathering." She chuckled. "It's sweet to watch. Nanoha glows, I swear. She loves her babies so much."

"That's great, Miyuki. I'm glad things are going well."

"How about you and Shinobu? How are things between you two?" Miyuki had to bite back a little bit of jealousy. Sure, she had accepted it, but she still got jealous of Shinobu at times.

At the mention of Shinobu, Kyouya laughed; and Miyuki recognized the tone of it. He'd laughed like this when he'd swept Shinobu off her feet when she'd told him she was pregnant.

"We're expecting another baby!" He sounded like a little kid at his ideal birthday party. "She just told me a few days ago. I meant to call, but I can't make the connection to Mid-Childa as easily as you can to Earth."

Miyuki blinked and shook her head, smiling ruefully. "Congrats, Kyou-chan. Do you want me to tell Nanoha-chan or do you want to wait to tell her yourself?"

"Huh?"

"Well, she was planning on coming back to Earth with Fate-chan, Yuuno-kun and the babies soon."

"Uh... Miyuki..."

"Yeah?"

"This isn't going to be a short bodyguard job. We'll be gone for a month, at the most. We'll probably have to leave before Nanoha visits."

"Really?" Miyuki grimaced and sighed. "Alright, I'll tell them. Although, Kyou-chan..."

"Yeah?"

"She'll be upset if she doesn't get to say goodbye. I'll let her know what's going on, okay?"

"That works, but I'm going to need you in two days, at the most."

Miyuki blinked. "So soon?"

"Yeah, I know. Sorry. But from what Iria says, it sounds really bad... I don't know all the details, but I've heard rumors that these guys might have some prototype Intelligent Devices."

"Alright. I'll get ready. I'm going to have to tell Hayate about this." Especially since the brown-haired woman was a general, was from Earth and this had to be something that would interest her.

"There's nothing concrete on it, but give her a heads up anyway in case we need some mage back-up." Kyouya sighed. "I'm sorry to just dump this on you Miyuki. You must have only just started settling in, too."

Dammit, how the hell did he do that?

"Alright. Don't worry, Kyou-chan, I'll be there in two days at the most." Miyuki said before giving her goodbyes and hanging up the phone. Now came the hard part. Telling everyone what was going on.

Sighing, Miyuki grabbed her practice sword and stood, stretching slightly. Well, telling her family would be easy enough; Nanoha had come to visit her parents and had brought Sora and Isamu with her, so she'd be in a good mood, at least.

Miyuki didn't see her family minding all that much. Being who they were, they'd accept the fact that she'd have to return to Earth.

The person she was most worried about telling was Shamal, and she didn't know why.

Still... Sighing as she wiped the sheen of sweat off of her face and neck, she walked into the house, smiling as she called out. "Mom, Dad, Nanoha, are you around?"

"In the living room, dear." Momoko called back to her.

Miyuki heard the giggles and squeals before she even entered the room, and she paused, raising a brow at what she saw. Nanoha and Momoko sat on the couch, laughing while Shiro lay on his belly on the floor, letting Sora and Isamu crawl all over him and have fun. "Oh, Dad," she sighed out, even as she smiled.

"I can't help it." He grinned up at her. "They jumped me. I never had a chance."

"They're only two months old, dad." Miyuki shook her head, it was amusing to watch.

"It's still two on one!" Shiro protested lightly, getting a laugh from Nanoha and Momoko. "I had no chance against these two."

Miyuki raised a brow. "And you used to be one of the best guards in Japan, too," she murmured.

Shiro just smiled innocently. "They move fast. I could barely even see them."

As Nanoha and Momoko laughed again, Miyuki smirked. "I imagine." She took a deep breath. "I just got a call from Kyou-chan."

"Big brother? Is he alright?" Nanoha asked, frowning softly. She hadn't seen him in almost a year, she rather missed him, now that she thought about it. Well, she, Yuuno and Fate were going to head home in a short while to see him, Shinobu, Arisa and Suzuka soon.

"He's fine." Despite knowing what she had to say, Miyuki smiled. "Shinobu-san's pregnant again. He reminded me of Yuuno-kun. It was sweet to listen to."

Momoko giggled as Nanoha smiled at the thought of having more nieces and nephews at home. "Now I need to go see Kyouya-nii as soon as possible."

"Yeah..." Miyuki sighed, getting everyone to blink at her in confusion. "He didn't call to let me know that."

"Sis?"

"He needs my help." The tone of her voice wasn't a happy one, even Sora and Isamu stopped crawling as they looked around, everyone had gone silent, it was different than usual.

Shiro looked at his daughter. "Bodyguard help?"

Miyuki nodded. "Our friend... Fiasse, she's on another concert tour, and she's traveling with a singer who... attracts terrorist threats. Kyouya said it'll take a month, at most. I need to head out in two days, and we'll be gone when you visit Earth."

Nanoha frowned softly, before shaking her head. "No you won't."

"Nanoha?" Miyuki blinked as her sister smirked at her.

"I'll call Fate-chan and tell her and Yuuno-kun to get ready to go to Earth in two days. I want to see Kyouya-nii before he leaves, it's been too long."

"We'll do the same," Momoko added, and smiled at Miyuki's look. "I want to see my son before he goes out and risks his life again."

Miyuki blinked again, then shrugged. "Well... okay. Whatever you guys want to do." She sighed. "Now... I just need to talk to Hayate-chan and Shamal..."

Nanoha nodded to her. "Thanks for telling us, Miyuki-nee..." She got up and went off to call Fate and Yuuno.

"I need to get ready myself." Momoko said as she got up and rushed to get things packed.

"Hey! What about me?" Shiro pouted as the three looked at him. "I'm a grandfather! Treat your elders with respect!" He said in a mock old man's voice that had the boys giggling as they started to crawl over him again.

"Just stay there, grandpa." Momoko smirked at him.

"No one takes me seriously anymore," Shiro mumbled, but he was smiling.

Miyuki laughed before she left the room, wondering how she was going to deal with Shamal now... and how she was supposed to pass her information on to Hayate.

(---)

Hayate, dressed in casual pants and a shirt, looked up as she heard a knocking on the door to her house. It wasn't too often that she got a day off, even if it seemed like it. Half days were great for having time off and still work. Getting up, she walked to the door, smiling as she saw Nanoha's sister there. "Miyuki! Hello, how are you?"

"I'm fine." Miyuki returned Hayate's smile, feeling herself relax. "I need to talk to you about something."

"Oh? Well, come in..."

At Hayate's gesturing Miyuki stepped inside, sitting down. She waited for Hayate to sit as well before she spoke again. "I have to return to Earth," she said. "Kyou-chan needs some help with a guarding job, and it's an old friend of ours."

"I see..."

"And... I don't know where he heard it, but Kyou-chan mentioned that the terrorists might have gotten their hands on some prototype Intelligent Devices."

Hayate frowned softly, her eyes showing her seriousness of such information. "Have you told anyone else about this yet?" Getting a shake from Miyuki, the General nodded, sighing. "Good. They couldn't have them on Earth normally." It could just be that they got their hands on a device or two that ended up there by accident like Raising Heart or the Tome of the Night Sky, but she needed to look into it. "I'll check all traffic to Earth, see if there's anything that might indicate any Intelligent Devices being shipped there."

Miyuki nodded. "Kyou-chan has nothing solid, but he's heard rumors..."

"That's enough." Hayate shook her head. Just the fact that there were rumors was bad enough.

"Hayate... Do you think that there are devices on Earth?"

"It's possible. We might luck out and it was just an accident that they got there. If they're being shipped to Earth to test them out without the TSAB knowing about it, there will be hell to pay." She said, her eyes glinting as she mentally contacted Rein to meet her at the office soon. "Thank you for telling me."

Miyuki nodded, then sighed and seemed to slump slightly. "Now I need to tell Shamal I'm leaving."

Hayate perked up at that. "Oh?"

"Yeah..." Hayate blinked as Miyuki sighed softly and looked slightly away from her.

"You don't seem happy about that."

Miyuki shook her head slowly. "Not especially, no. I like working with her, so, not seeing her nearly every day is going to feel weird."

Hayate raised a brow. "You like working with her?"

"Well..." Miyuki scratched the back of her neck awkwardly. "I just... she's easy for me to be around. She makes me laugh sometimes, and she's really sweet. I like being around her, so it'll feel weird not having her around, I guess."

Hayate nodded and chuckled. "It's okay, Miyuki. I'm sure she'll understand."

"Understand what?" Miyuki blinked as Hayate smiled at her.

"That you have something that you need to do. We're in the military, we know how things go in life."

Miyuki hesitated, then nodded. "Thanks, Hayate-chan."

"Anytime." Seeing Hayate smiling at her, Miyuki wondered why that didn't make her feel any better.

--

Shamal sighed and leaned back in her chair, checking her appointment book one last time and wondering if maybe she could close up early today. She'd just finished her last appointment, and it was only four.

She blinked as Miyuki walked in. "Hey, isn't it your day off? I swear, you Takamachis have too good a work ethic." She joked lightly.

Miyuki laughed at that. "I've been told," she said, then looked around. "Uh... can I sit? I need to talk to you."

Curious, Shamal sat up and nodded, and Miyuki sat down at the chair in front of her desk. After a moment, the dark-haired girl cleared her throat.

"I, uh... I have to go back to Earth for awhile."

Shamal blinked a few times. "Is something wrong with your brother?"

"Not quite... He... He needs my help."

"Help?"

"For a bodyguard job." Miyuki wondered why she wanted to squirm. "Our friend, Fiasse, she needs some help. It's a serious job, I'll be gone for at least a month."

Shamal blinked, before slowly nodding. "I see..." She trailed off. "I wish you luck then."

Miyuki blinked a few times. "That simple?"

"Well, knowing you, it doesn't sound dangerous..."

Miyuki coughed at that. "Ah, yes, well..."

"What?" Shamal blinked as Miyuki fidgeted slightly. "What aren't you telling me?"

"Kyou-chan... He..." She took a deep breath and slowly let it out. "He said that there's a possibility of Intelligent Devices being used on this mission... Against us."

"... Intelligent Devices?"

"Rumor only, says they're prototypes, so they might not even be that strong."

"You know how Midchildan and Belkan magic works, right?" Miyuki shook her head, she didn't know the exact details. "There are formulas and equations done for each spell, like high-end math. Even a basic Intelligent Device is like a super calculator, it can retain all formulas and equations used in it, making it easier and easier to use spells."

"Even the prototypes?"

"Yes...."

"Hmm. I'll have to keep that in mind."

Shamal sighed at her. "Just be careful. One mistake will cause you to end up dead."

"Shamal?"

"...I would like to go with, I would."

"But you're busy here."

Shamal nodded before sighing and shaking her head. "Do you need help with everything?"

Miyuki raised a brow and smirked. "Everything? Why, Shamal, I think you're worried about me."

Shamal laughed. "Sorry, meant 'anything', but, yes, I am worried. If something happened to you, I'd have a hard time getting a replacement secretary. Good help is so hard to come by." She said, smiling and winking, letting Miyuki know that she was just joking around.

Miyuki grinned, then slumped back and clutched her heart dramatically. "You mean I'm nothing more than a secretary to you?" She fixed a hurt look on Shamal's face, amusement dancing in the depths of her eyes. "You wound me, Shamal, deeply."

"Why yes. You're just a hot piece of eye candy that I use to attract the horny patients and keep them coming back. Haven't you ever wondered why your skirt was so tightly molded to your body?" Shamal smirked at her.

"Ah, the truth comes out." Miyuki laughed and straightened up. "I have to admit, seeing Fiasse again will be fun. I was sweet on her for awhile after I got over Kyou-chan."

Shamal raised an eyebrow at Miyuki. "Oh? You were sweet on her?" Seeing her secretary nod, Shamal smirked at her. "Details."

"Like what?" Miyuki chuckled. "I was sweet on her, and at the time she was interested. We were young, things happened, and I think it'll be interesting to see her again, is all."

Shamal chuckled softly. "Well, just be careful, okay? I really would hate to have something happen to you."

Miyuki laughed. "Thanks. But just watch, I might end up falling madly in love with Fiasse and decide to stay on Earth."

"Well, if that happened, I would wish you luck." Shamal sighed softly and shook her head. She did feel a little weird that Miyuki was leaving her, but could accept it. "Just remember, if it doesn't work out, you're always welcome back here."

Miyuki blinked and cleared her throat, wondering why that touched her so much. "I'll keep that in mind," she said softly, then hesitated. "Shamal."

"Yes?"

"... Thank you."

"Not a problem." Shamal smiled at her.

(---)

Two days later...

"Are you sure that it's okay that you're watching Vivio for us?" Fate asked her mother as Yuuno, Nanoha and her family and their children were getting ready to board the ship that could take them close enough to Earth to warp down.

Lindy nodded and smiled at Fate, her hands on Vivio's shoulders as the small girl waved to the rest of her family. "Yes, Fate. It won't be a problem. She can't miss school after all."

Fate nodded and knelt down, looking her daughter in the eyes. "Vivio, you be a good girl while we're away, okay? I wish you could come with."

Vivio shook her head. "Don't worry, Fate-mama. I'll be good, I don't want to miss school."

"Now that's something you don't hear very often." Fate chuckled softly, getting a laugh from both Lindy and Vivio.

"I think she gets it from Yuuno," Lindy confessed.

"I heard that," Yuuno called as he walked out of the house.

Fate and Lindy both laughed. "Just say hi to everybody for me when you get there," the green-haired woman continued. "Tell Kyouya I wish him luck." She frowned. "Speaking of which, where's Miyuki?"

"Practicing in the dojo." Shiro came outside to help. "She's been going at it ever since Kyouya called. She hasn't said anything, but I think she's nervous."

Lindy nodded, Hayate had filled her in on what was going on. Officially, they couldn't do anything unless it was confirmed, that didn't mean that she wasn't going to have a ship in the area scouting for Lost Logia though. If they happened to find any proto-type Intelligent Devices in use, well, that was just coincidence.

Looking at Nanoha and Fate, they nodded at her. "Well, do take care, and tell your family "hi" for Vivio and myself." Lindy smiled at Nanoha.

"Of course." Nanoha smiled as Momoko and Yuuno went onto the ship, followed by Shiro. "Vivio, you be a good girl now, okay?"

"I will, Nanoha-mama." Vivio waved at Nanoha.

"I'll call, okay?" Nanoha smiled as she pushed her two boys in the stroller to the ship, Fate and Alicia following a moment later.

"Okay, mama!" Vivio smiled brightly while waving.

--

Hayate considered it a true, honest blessing that her communication network was as fast as, if not faster than, Lindy's at times. It gave her all sorts of information for her job as the General, and made it easier for her to keep a clear head.

And sometimes, it was just fun.

"You know, I think you missed the point Miyuki was trying to make."

Shamal blinked and looked up from her desk. "Hayate? I didn't feel you."

"Of course not, as engrossed in your... Ledger as you were." Hayate sighed and sat down near Shamal. "What's wrong? You usually aren't out of it like this."

"I'm fine." Shamal pushed the ledger aside with a scowl.

Hayate raised a brow. "... I see."

"What do you mean, I missed Miyuki's point?" Shamal didn't bother asking how Hayate even knew about it; Hayate knew everything eventually.

Hayate sighed. "Did it ever occur to you that when she mentioned Fiasse yesterday, she did it to see what kind of reaction she'd get from you?"

"Huh?" Shamal asked after several moments of just staring at Hayate. "What do you mean by that? If she finds someone to love and stays on Earth, I should be happy for her, not upset."

Hayate could have slammed her head against a desk. "Shamal, be honest. How exactly did you feel when Miyuki, even if she was teasing, said she might end up falling in love with Fiasse and staying on Earth?"

"Well..." Shamal trailed off, thinking about it. "I would miss her, honestly. And, yes, it would be sad, but I should be glad that she would be happy and settling down. She's..." Shamal stopped for a moment to gather her thoughts. "Well, she's always seemed like a fish out of water some days."

This time Hayate dropped her head to the desk with a thunk and a groan. "Shamal, you're giving me a headache," she whimpered.

"Uh... I'm sorry?"

"Okay, fine... let's just say, hypothetically, Miyuki falls madly in love with Fiasse and calls you up to let you know she's staying on Earth. What would you do?"

"Well, I'd be sad, because I got used to seeing her around, but I guess that I would wish her luck." Shamal blinked as Hayate groaned. "Hayate? Please, what's wrong? I might get upset when people flirt with her, but she's the one not responding to them in the first place."

Hayate groaned again. "Shamal, did it ever occur to you that maybe she doesn't respond to other people's flirting because she likes you?"

Shamal was silent for awhile, before shaking her head slowly. She honestly hadn't ever thought about it and Miyuki never said anything to that effect. "Not really... I... I never was looking for a relationship like that either."

Hayate sighed. "Maybe Miyuki was waiting for you to make the first move?" she offered. "She's had her fair share of relationships, I can imagine she's good at waiting."

"I... I couldn't imagine her wanting one with me, though." Shamal sighed and shook her head. "Maybe you're reading into this too much, Hayate."

"...Why don't you ask her on a date when she gets back?" Hayate suggested to her softly. "Just watch her face for a reaction, you might be surprised."

"Hayate... what makes you so sure?"

Hayate chuckled. "For one thing, you chase off her suitors like a wolf. For another, unless you're having a flaming affair with your ledger that I don't know about, you've been reading the same name for the last ten minutes."

Shamal didn't say anything and Hayate shook her head and sighed, before patting Shamal's back. "Just think about it, Shamal. You might be surprised if you ask her."

Shamal raised a brow. "You're awfully confident."

"Because I went by Nanoha-chan's house, and Miyuki's miserable. She's hiding it very well, but she isn't too happy." Hayate chuckled. "It's quite amusing, really."

Hayate took a sudden deep breath and shook her head. "As much as I would love to stay here and needle you about this, I have to check on things. Shamal, whether you go or not is up to you, but it might do her some good to see you say goodbye to her."

With that, Hayate smiled and practically sailed out of the room, leaving Shamal blinking in her wake.

---

Miyuki sighed and lowered her practice sword, blowing out a long breath. She knew pushing herself to train so close to a mission was a bad idea, but she couldn't help it. She felt horribly frustrated for some reason, and she didn't know why.

Sighing, she looked at the time and grimaced, she had only a few minutes to get changed, cleaned up and onto the ship before they left her. Well, maybe they would. Nanoha might get upset if she was left behind.

Chuckling softly, Miyuki did go into the house to take a quick shower and get cleaned up. She idly wondered how guys could clean up so quickly all the time and make it look so easy too.

She almost envied them... almost.

With a sigh, she put her practice sword back into its place on the wall and headed out of the dojo, cutting across the yard to reach the back door, shivering slightly as a gust of wind picked up and blew across her body.

Despite herself, she realized she still felt annoyed and frustrated.

As she got into the house, she wondered if maybe she was more frustrated and annoyed with being frustrated and annoyed than anything else. Shrugging, she made her way to the bathroom, shucked her clothing off and started washing up. She didn't know how much time she had before the ship left and she wanted to at least not stink up the place.

The shower didn't take half as long as she'd feared, and since she was already packed it was a simple matter of getting her stuff together and taking it outside. Thankfully no one seemed ready to abandon her since Nanoha was still talking to Lindy, so after putting her stuff down she sat down in the grass beneath a tree, watching the interaction and waiting for the call to go.

Sighing, she went over a mental list of things that she needed to double check on, just to make sure that she hadn't forgotten anything. She shivered as a breeze picked up, causing her to curse and wish that she had put on her jacket before coming outside. At least she was wearing a long-sleeved shirt and long pants to keep warm.

"Miyuki." She was broken out of her thoughts as Nanoha called for her. "Come on, it's time to go."

Miyuki nodded and shouldered her bag, before blinking as her phone started ringing. Flipping it open, she answered the call without really checking who it was. "Hello?"

"Miyuki?"

"Shamal?" Miyuki blinked as she walked to the ship. "What's wrong?"

"Nothing, but I didn't know if you were gone or not."

"Just leaving now, actually."

"So soon?"

"Yeah, we're moving pretty fast." Miyuki laughed sheepishly. "Mom and Nanoha are determined to see Kyou-chan again before we head out. It's like they're afraid we won't come back or something."

"Well, it is a dangerous business after all, right?"

Miyuki nodded as she stopped and waved to Nanoha, motioning that she would be up soon. "Yeah, it is. Dad was in the business before he got hurt and retired."

"Well... Miyuki, I just want to tell you that I hope everything goes well on this mission for you."

Miyuki blinked, then smiled slightly. "Thanks," she said. "Who knows, maybe now you'll finally have some patients flirting with you instead of always going for me," she joked.

"You think?"

"Well, I certainly won't be there to chase them off."

Shamal laughed over the phone. "Oh, I dunno, I think I did a lot more chasing off than you ever did. Maybe I should wear my jacket less. What do you think?"

"I think if you take off your jacket I'll either be kicking guys and girls to the curb to keep them off of you or chasing them down the street with a practice sword." Miyuki smirked. "Take your pick."

Shamal's laughter was heard again. "I might take you up on that. But, good luck, Miyuki, and come back safe, okay?"

"Yes ma'am." Miyuki chuckled.

Shamal hesitated, then cleared her throat. Hell, maybe Hayate was on to something. "Say, Miyuki?"

"Yes?"

"Um, when you get back... Do you want to go see a movie or something later?" Shamal's voice was hesitant, nervous.

Miyuki blinked several times before she smiled, and at that moment she felt light, warm, and incredibly happy. "That sounds like a great idea," she said. "Really gives me something to look forward to."

"Ah, good, so, goodbye, Miyuki and good luck."

"Bye, Shamal." Miyuki smiled as she hung up her phone.

Looking as her sister came out of the yard, Nanoha smiled at her happily. "Must have been a good phone call."

"Very good," Miyuki agreed with a laugh, and followed her sister.

---

Shamal slowly set down the phone, blinking when she saw Hayate leaning casually against the doorway. "I swear, you have the strangest timing."

"I never left." Hayate smiled innocently. "I was just exploring your clinic. I've never actually been in it before. So, how'd it go?"

Considering the smile that came to Shamal's face, Hayate had to guess that it went pretty well. "She said she'd go out to a movie with me after she gets back." The blond said, smiling softly at Hayate. "How did you know?"

"That she liked you?" Hayate smirked. "Biggest clue was she never tried to actually stop you from chasing off anyone who flirted with her. Honestly, why do you doubt yourself?"

"Because compared to so many people I'm kind of plain? I tend to blend into the background and am overlooked by everyone?" Shamal shrugged uncomfortably at Hayate's look. "What?"

"Do you honestly believe that?"

"Sometimes." She said softly. "Regardless of what you think, Hayate, I know that I blend into the background at times."

Hayate continued to give her a look. Shamal squirmed. "Hayate, you're making me nervous...."

"I swear, all of you." Hayate sighed. "Vita's as protective as a pit bull, Signum's afraid to truly trust people, Zafira never talks, and you think you blend in with the wall. What do I have to do to prove you mean something to people?"

Shamal chuckled nervously as Hayate ranted about the problems that her knights seemed to have with the rest of the world. "Well, it's hard, sometimes, to know what you see in us." The blond seemed to wilt as Hayate stared at her in disbelief. "Well, maybe not, but Hayate..."

"Don't go "but Hayate" with me..." The brown-haired woman sighed and cupped Shamal's cheeks gently. "I know that the four of you have had a hard life, that it's hard for me to truly grasp what you've gone through, but that's in the past, not here, not now. I know that you can't just forget it. But, please, Shamal, for yourself, for me... And for Miyuki... You need to give her a chance."

"Hayate?"

The brown-haired woman sighed heavily and hugged her blond knight. "I love you, Shamal. You, Vita, Signum, Zafira, Rein, Agito... The six of you filled a void in my life that I was missing. I want the six of you to find someone to fill the voids in your hearts."

Shamal blinked as she hugged Hayate back. "What makes you think we have voids?"

Hayate smiled sadly. "Because I had a similar void before the six of you came into my life," she replied. "I know how it feels to be happy, but not totally complete. Be confident, Shamal. Miyuki clearly saw something in you that she liked, or you're not giving her enough credit."

Hayate pulled back and smiled softly at Shamal, who just looked at her slightly blankly. "Hayate?"

"Regardless of what's happened in your past, it's in your past. This is your life now, live it. Enjoy it. You, Signum, Vita, Zafira, the four of you need to enjoy it, be with people, have fun."

"Hayate, do you think maybe you're pushing too hard?" Shamal blinked as Hayate chuckled softly.

"Only when I see you making a mistake. I can wait for Signum, Vita, Zafira, Rein and Agito to find someone that they like, but you've already found someone, don't let her go." It would be too sad if Shamal lost her chance at happiness.

Shamal blinked again. "What makes you think I'm letting her go? It's only one date."

Hayate just chuckled.

"I swear, Hayate, you're weird sometimes." Shamal said with a chuckle as her master just chuckled some more.

"Maybe... Hmm, that reminds me, I need to talk with Carim about making more outfits for those cute babies of Nanoha-chan and Fate-chan." She said with a gleam in her eye.

Sweat-dropping as Hayate left her office, Shamal wondered just what was up with her friends some days. Sighing, she leaned back in her chair, for some reason, though, she felt a lot better.

(---)

The trip was much shorter than Miyuki had remembered it being. A couple of hours, a flash of light and they were on Earth, near the Midyoriama Cafe. "I swear, Nanoha-chan, it's like you moved to Star Trek or something."

"Nyahahahahaha..." Her sister laughed and adjusted her coat as the wind picked up. Making sure that her boys were covered warmly, Fate doing the same with Alicia, the four followed Momoko and Shiro into the cafe.

"Welcome to the... Mom? Dad? Nanoha? Miyuki?" Kyouya's eyes widened as he smiled. "It's good to see you guys again! Fate! Yuuno! How is everyone?"

"Sorry." Miyuki shrugged sheepishly. "As soon as I told them we had to leave quickly, they insisted on coming."

"I don't mind!" Kyouya was grinning as he rushed to his family. "How is everyone? How are the babies? Shinobu's going to be thrilled when she hears!"

Nanoha grinned and hugged her brother tightly after setting her babies on the table. "They're fine, really, they are. How are you doing, brother? It's been too long."

"I'm fine." Kyouya smiled at her and kissed her on the forehead. "I'm glad to see you're doing alright." He narrowed his eyes and looked at Yuuno. "Well, you could do a lot worse, I suppose." Yuuno groaned and shook his head, why did everyone think that he wasn't good enough for Nanoha and Fate anyway?

"Kyou-nii!" Nanoha pouted and stepped on his foot on purpose. "Yuuno-kun's a great guy, just because you knew him first as a ferret." She pulled back and motioned to her babies. "Well, say hello to your nephews, Isamu," she pointed to the one on the left, "and Sora."

"How do you..?"

Fate laughed as she sat down in the cafe, thankfully it was nearly empty right then and there. "Trust me, she always knows. Kyouya, I'd like you to meet Alicia, my daughter."

Kyouya smiled and gave Alicia a small bow, holding out his hand. "Hello there, miss," he said, and smiled when Alicia giggled happily and grabbed onto his hand. "She likes me."

Fate laughed again. "She responds well to flirting. I'm a little concerned for her, I'm afraid."

A gurgle made Kyouya look up, and he noticed Sora and Isamu--he still couldn't tell them apart, no matter how he tried--watching him curiously. Sora was quite content to stay still and just watch, but Isamu squealed and giggled, reaching for Kyouya with grabby hands.

Nanoha smiled and picked up Isamu gently and handed him to her brother. "Say hello to your uncle, Isamu."

"Courage, huh?" Kyouya smiled and took Isamu into his arms. "Cute name. Aren't you afraid he might live up to his name though?"

Nanoha giggled a little nervously and held her hand up and her fingers apart slightly. "Just a little bit." She admitted sheepishly as Yuuno grabbed her shoulders softly from behind and kissed her cheek.

"Don't worry, I'm sure that between Alicia, Sora, Erio, Caro and Vivio, he'll have enough people to worry about him." Yuuno smiled as he slipped his hands around Nanoha's midsection, hugging her.

"I hope so." Nanoha smiled nervously. "At the very least, I hope Sora and Alicia can keep him calm if no one else is around. He's always the most likely to go off and start something new."

"Oh?" Kyouya didn't even blink when Isamu grabbed for his hair, remembering how his kids had been at this age. Shinobu would adore him.

"Yeah." Yuuno smiled over Nanoha's shoulder. "He was the first one to start moving, the first one to make noises... he's curious about everything. Hopefully that curiosity will keep him out of trouble."

Kyouya shook his head. "Nah, if anything, this one's going to cause you the most problems, being active and running around." He turned, smiling as his purple-haired wife came into the room.

"Nanoha-chan? Fate-chan? Oh my! It's been so long!" She squealed and ran over to Fate, since she was closer, and hugged the blond tightly. "How are you doing?"

"I'm fine. You look well." Fate laughed, returning Shinobu's hug as best she could. "Say hello to your niece, Shinobu-san."

Shinobu knelt down, grinning as Alicia reached for her. "Oh, hello, sweetie. Oh, aren't you beautiful. May I?" she asked, and when Fate nodded she lifted Alicia into her arms like an old pro, making the baby squeal with delight. "I'm sorry, ever since I found out I'm pregnant again I can't get babies off the mind."

Momoko laughed. "How are the kids?"

"They're working in the back right now with the older employees. It's slow, so they don't mind helping out."

Shinobu looked at Yuuno and smiled softly. "So this is the man that got you two to settle down, huh?" She didn't move, just chuckled as Yuuno laughed softly.

"I wouldn't say settle down, I'm actually expecting Nanoha and Fate to go back to work soon."

"Yuuno-kun." Nanoha pouted as he held her closer and kissed her on the cheek. "What do you mean by that?"

"You and Fate got very antsy around the house the last month before the children were born, Caro and Erio had to make sure that you two didn't try anything while I was at work."

"Mouuu..." Nanoha pouted as Kyouya and Shinobu laughed at her.

"I've been pretty good," Fate muttered.

Yuuno gave her an amused look.

"... I said pretty good, didn't I?" Fate said with a soft blush on her face as Yuuno chuckled at her.

Nanoha chuckled and turned to kiss Yuuno on the lips softly, before disengaging herself from him and walking over to Fate and kissing her in front of everyone. She didn't care what others thought, she loved Fate and Yuuno, she would show her love to them in front of everyone whenever she wanted to.

Fate blushed but softly returned the kiss. Thankfully it didn't go any further than that as Nanoha pulled back, smiling at her. "See? Fate-chan's been a good girl."

Kyouya looked at Yuuno and stepped over to him. "I take it back, there's no one she could have found that was better for her than you and Fate."

Yuuno laughed softly. "Thank you, Kyouya." He meant it too, it felt nice to have his brother-in-law's approval over this matter.

Satisfied, Kyouya turned to Miyuki. "So, what about my other little sister?" he asked.

Miyuki smiled pleasantly. "Go back to dissecting Nanoha's love life, Kyou-chan, I've got nothing interesting to tell you."

"Liar." Nanoha grinned. "You got off the phone before we left with a huge smile on your face. Something good definitely happened."

Miyuki chuckled softly. "Okay, okay, you got me. Yeah, I did get off the phone before we left. It wasn't anything big, really. Just set up a date if I came back, that's all."

"Oh?" Nanoha leaned forward. "A date with who?"

Miyuki blinked and smiled innocently as she mimed zipping her lips.

"Mou, Onee-chan, no fair! You teased me relentlessly about Fate-chan and Yuuno-kun when you first found out!"

Miyuki chuckled and shook her head. "Nope, not going to tell you anything unless it goes beyond one date." She laughed as Nanoha pouted at her.

Shinobu smiled at Fate as she held Alicia. "Suzuka-chan and Arisa-chan are going to be so happy to see you three again, and your babies."

Yuuno chuckled nervously, he was actually dreading what Arisa would do to him when he got there.

"Actually..." Nanoha frowned. "Speaking of Arisa-chan, is she all right? She was acting kind of weird the last time I talked to her."

Shinobu blinked a few times at hearing that. "What? Last time I saw her, which was just the other day, she had the largest, happiest smile on her face I had ever seen before."

"Did she?" Nanoha scowled now. "I suppose I'll have to ask her what happened. She worried me."

Shinobu laughed at that. "Oh, don't worry, she just acts like that when she gets embarrassed about something."

Fate shook her head, blinking as Alicia started groaning and squirming in Shinobu's arms. "Oh, she's hungry... Shinobu... I need to feed her." She said with a small blush and indicated her breasts.

Blinking, the girl smiled, blushing softly as she gave the baby girl back to Fate and motioned for the blond to follow her out of the room where she could nurse in private.

Kyouya smiled softly. "Shinobu's so excited."

"And you aren't?" Nanoha asked him, smiling as he held his nephew at arm's length, smiling brightly.

"Okay, I admit, they are cute. Aren't you? You're going to grow big and strong and squash all the bad guys so your mama can rest easy, aren't you?" He asked Isamu, who gurgled happily, waving his arms and kicking his feet.

"Don't say that, Kyou-nii, he might actually understand you." Nanoha said, her face slightly blue at the thought of her boys rushing into a fight like that.

Kyouya chuckled and pulled Isamu closer. "And if you can, do your best to protect Alicia with all you've got," he whispered. "It's a brother's job to protect his sister."

"I can hear you, Onii-chan! Don't give him ideas!" Nanoha looked ready to deck her brother over what he was telling her son.

Kyouya chuckled and shook his head. "Don't worry, Nanoha, it's not like you're going to go on a mission and he's going to stow away somewhere and sneak in when you aren't looking."

Nanoha whimpered and picked up Sora. "You'll be the good boy, right? You'll try to keep Isamu from being corrupted by your bad uncle, right?" She asked, tapping Sora on the nose, getting a laugh from the baby. "See? Even Sora thinks that you're a bad uncle."

Kyouya grinned as Isamu giggled and clung to him, amused by the antics of his brother and mother. "I don't know, Nanoha, Isamu seems to favor me."

"He does that a lot," Shiro said with a laugh.

Yuuno laughed softly and sat down next to Nanoha, sighing happily as he looked at his boys. It was still a wonder to him, sometimes, how those two came from him and Nanoha.

Noticing how close Yuuno was, Nanoha spent no time snuggling against him with a happy sigh.

"They're such a mix of you both," Kyouya murmured, gently touching his nephew's hair. "I swear, Nanoha, you really went both ways with these boys."

Nanoha blinked in confusion as Yuuno spent that time touching and playing with his other son, getting a giggle from the normally quiet boy. "What do you mean, Kyou-nii?"

"Well, physically is the most obvious one..." Kyouya ran his fingers through Isamu's soft hair. "Darker than Yuuno's, but lighter than yours. Their eyes... a mix of blue and green." He smiled. "But their personalities, too. Sora, he's already shaping up to be just as intelligent and quietly dangerous as his dad. Isamu's taking after you, Nanoha, all eager to explore and curious about everything."

"Really?" Nanoha said, smiling softly as even Yuuno blushed at the praise.

"No, I just made it up."

"Kyou-nii!" Nanoha yelled at her brother, who chuckled and shook his head.

"I was kidding, Nanoha, lighten up." He laughed nervously as she pouted at him.

"As interesting as this all is, Kyou-chan..."

Miyuki's soft voice changed Kyouya's mood. "Yeah," he said softly.

"Sorry." She apologized not to Kyouya, but rather the others in the room.

"It's all right. That's the reason you're here, anyway." Kyouya nodded and gently put his nephew down in his carrier. "I'm glad you could come though, Miyuki, Nanoha, mom, dad, Fate, Yuuno; it was good to see you all again."

Shiro frowned. "Leaving so soon?"

"Fiasse really needs our help." Kyouya sighed. "The reason her partner singer is so controversial? Apparently, she's a retired mage from the TSAB who had several questionable dealings with the generals and outside sources. I looked into her a bit with my contacts, but I only scraped the surface."

Nanoha nodded, got up, gave Sora to Yuuno and walked to her brother, hugging him. "Be careful, please? I don't want you, any of you, to get hurt."

"We will, Nanoha." Kyouya hugged his sister back. "We'll be careful."

"Nanoha." Miyuki smiled. "We'll be fine."

Nanoha hugged her tightly. "You have to tell me who asked you out when you get back, okay?"

Miyuki laughed and returned the hug. "I will," she promised.

And with that, the two were gone.

Nanoha bit her lip in worry, she had a bad feeling about all of this.

(---)

It didn't take long, with Kyouya driving, for the two of them to get to a hotel. "So, Kyouya..."

"Yeah?" He asked as they walked up to the hotel room.

"If the co-singer is so controversial, why does Fiasse work with her?"

Kyouya sighed. "You know how Fiasse is. She believes in singing for others, even if sometimes what she has to do puts herself at risk. This singer is controversial, but a lot of people like her a lot, and she doesn't perform very often because of threats."

Miyuki nodded as they came to a room. "215..." Why does that number keep making it feel like bad things are going to happen? Miyuki wondered as she knocked on the door.

Privately, she just hoped that things worked out without any problems as the door opened up slowly.

A young woman about Kyouya's age stood in the doorway, long light brown hair falling well past her shoulders. She was dressed casually, in a shirt and jeans, though she still wore a cross around her neck. She was about a couple inches taller than Miyuki and had a pleasant demenor on her face.

When she saw the two Takamachi siblings, her blue eyes eyes lit up and she smiled. "Kyouya, Miyuki!"

With a laugh, Miyuki stepped forward to hug her friend. "Fiasse, long time no see," she murmured.

Hugging Miyuki, Fiasse smiled softly. "It has been too long. What? Twelve years now?"

Kyouya chuckled softly. "Yeah, well, when one of us is always on the move," he gestured to Fiasse, "one of us gets married," he gestured to himself, " and the last one of us went and moved to another world to watch after her pregnant sister," he gestured to Miyuki, "we can tend to drift apart."

Fiasse smiled softly. "Yes... I'm just glad that I can see you two again."

"We're glad to see you too." Kyouya smiled slightly. "Even if I kind of wish it was for a different reason."

Fiasse winced at that. "Yes." She sighed. "I really am sorry. I didn't want to bother you, but these threats have been getting out of hand, and Iria's worried since Elise is on vacation right now."

Miyuki raised a brow. "She doesn't know?"

"She left before the threats came in, and I haven't let Iria contact her. Elise needs some time to relax."

Kyouya nodded, now he knew why they had been asked by Fiasse to bodyguard her. "Don't worry, Fiasse, we'll make sure that the two of you will be safe." Fiasse grinned at him and nodded.

"Of that, I have no doubt, the two of you can still slice a bullet shot at you in half, right?"

"He can," Miyuki said with amusement, gesturing to Kyouya. "I'm not so sure about myself. I've been out of it for awhile since moving to Mid-Childa with Mom and Dad."

Fiasse nodded softly. "As long as you can still keep people in check..."

"Oh, don't worry about that, Mid-childa does have a decent martial arts community at least, so I can find someone to spar with if needed." Miyuki smiled softly at her friend.

Kyouya nodded as he closed the door behind him. "Fiasse, I hate to ask, but how bad have the threats been getting?"

Fiasse winced. "Bad. Death threats."

"At her, you, or both?" Kyouya had to wonder just why they waited... Wait a second... "Fiasse, you said that the threats came in after Elise took a vaction from being your bodyguard, right?" Seeing her nod, he frowned softly as he leaned against the wall. "The timing's a little convenient."

"I agree, it's like someone knew that Elise wasn't going to be around when I did this tour."

Miyuki frowned. "Fiasse, are you monitored by anyone?"

"Well, no, not that I know of. But my companion checks in regularly with the TSAB and speaks with several of the generals so they know her whereabouts and what she's up to."

Both Kyouya and Fiasse blinked as Miyuki suddenly cursed. "What?" They asked at the same time.

"Sorry, it's just... The TSAB has a lot of problems right now, apparently. I don't know all of the details, I won't, I'm a civilian, but Nanoha mentioned to me about how the last major incident, involving a lot of people, could have been avoided if people didn't have so many skeletons in the closet." And that was all she knew too, other than the public attacks. Too much was classified at that moment and even the amount she knew might have been too much for any civilian to know.

"Miyuki, do you know anything else?" Fiasse asked softly, worry on her face.

"Not much..." Miyuki sighed and sat on the bed, looking at the floor for a moment. "If there are prototype devices in use, it's possible that someone in the TSAB, or someone with connections at the least, is using Earth as a means to test them... Or to find other mages like Nanoha-chan or Hayate-chan." She knew Earth was an non-administrated planet, she had heard that when she first moved to Mid-Childa, so it was possible that no one from the TSAB really looked at Earth very often. And since Nanoha and Hayate were supposedly once-in-a-lifetime mages with power and ability like theirs, both the same age, it just wasn't hard to imagine someone trying to scout for 'talent'.

"Then again, I could be totally wrong about everything." Miyuki said as she looked up. "It could be that the devices, if there are any, found their way out to the planet due to a shipping accident or someone screwing up with a spell or something." After all, didn't Yuuno, the Wolkenritter and several Lost Logia end up on Earth by sheer chance?

Fiasse blinked. "I'm sorry, this all sounds so complicated..."

Miyuki sighed. "Let's just say some things happened two years ago that shouldn't have happened, and the Mid-Childan government is still recovering from it. It's a long story."

Kyouya frowned. "And Nanoha told you about this?"

"Some of it's from Nanoha. Some from Yuuno-kun, some from Hayate-chan or Shamal... I just hear stuff."

"Hear stuff, huh?" Kyouya raised an eyebrow at her. "Sounds to me like you're still snoopy."

"Am not." Miyuki muttered and looked at Fiasse. "So, how is she controversial anyway?"

Fiasse sweated slightly. "Well, she's a good singer and she's a fairly nice person, but she's got an attitude... It's a bit hard-lined, I guess... Things she says, people just take them the wrong way, and the way she looks at them..."

"That's it? That's a stupid reason to..."

Fiasse interrupted Miyuki, "Well, that and the fact that she's an open bisexual and has little tolerance for people who don't like that kind of lifestyle."

"How little?"

"She beat up a guy and his dog for talking bad about her once."

"...She beat up a dog?" Miyuki sweat-dropped as Fiasse nodded at her.

Miyuki grimaced. "I need to talk to Hayate-chan then, somehow. Sounds like enough to piss off anyone on Earth, but not enough to actually warrant death threats unless some idiot got his hands on a Device without knowing how to use it."

Kyouya looked at Fiasse, curious. "Fiasse, not to sound nosy, but why are you traveling with someone like that? I know you've always been open about your music, but..."

"She's a really good singer, I'll admit she has problems, but she's a good singer. I can't fault her for having some problems."

"Some?" The Takamachi siblings deadpanned at the same time.

"Okay, a lot of problems, but she's really a nice person, just a little on the violent side." Fiasse chuckled nervously.

"Uh, Fiasse..." Miyuki cleared her throat. "What's her name?"

"Her name's Marona... She's got lovely emerald eyes and long green hair. She got bullied a lot when she was younger, just because she can see and talk to spirits, it hurt her, a lot, and she grew up alone, so, she ended up becoming a little violent..."

Miyuki blinked. "And she was in the TSAB?"

Fiasse nodded, rubbing the back of her head. "I honestly didn't know about her problems until after she beat that man and dog up. We sat down and talked about it. She's gotten a lot better, but, the threats... I think that they're mostly aimed at her and her spirit abilities."

"Hold on." Miyuki blinked. "Someone like her was in the TSAB, and the generals just let her go?"

Fiasse nodded and sighed. "She told me that she needed to leave, she could see so many spirits... Dead people... She went into a lot of battle fields and there were a lot of ghosts that hung around, she really couldn't stand it anymore, she retired because of it."

"I see..." Kyouya sighed. "Well, it doesn't matter, we'll do our best to protect the both of you.

Fiasse smiled. "Thank you. I really appreciate it."

Kyouya just shrugged. "It's no problem. We're friends."

Even as Miyuki nodded, she wondered if there was a way for her to contact Hayate and figure out what the hell was going on.

The door opened, causing the three to look at it. "I'm back, Fiasse, the pool was..." The person blinked and looked around. She had green hair that went past her shoulders, emerald green eyes, a modest chest, slender figure and long legs, she was wearing a black and purple one-piece swim-suit and had a white towel around her shoulders. "I didn't know we had guests, and such good-looking ones at that."

"Ah, Marona, these are my friends that I've told you about." Fiasse smiled at her. "Kyouya and Miyuki Takamachi."

Kyouya smiled. "Hello," he said easily.

Miyuki nodded briefly in greeting, but for some reason she felt strangely reserved around Marona.

"Wow, Fiasse, you should have told me that they were so good-looking, girl. If I had known that, I would've tried to talk you into a four-some." Marona smiled brightly, getting a blush from the two women and a snort from Kyouya. "What? Not interested?"

"One, Miyuki's my sister."

"She's still hot." Marona grinned at Miyuki, who fidgeted slightly.

"Two, I'm already married and have kids and I'm expecting more children soon."

"I hear it's hot to be watched, heck, get your wife, we'll make it an orgy."

"And three, I wouldn't cheat on my wife with anyone." Kyouya said, sighing and looking at Fiasse. "When you said open bisexual, I didn't think she was this open."

Fiasse chuckled nervously. "Well..."

Marona shrugged and chuckled as she closed the door. "Well, I'm just stating that I wouldn't mind it, I don't force people into doing things they don't want. I hear enough of how badly that turns out from various spirits. And you two have to be good people if Fiasse considers you two her best friends."

Kyouya smiled in spite of himself. "Thank you."

Marona shrugged again and turned to Miyuki with a small smile. "I didn't hear you objecting to any of the mentioned suggestions," she said lightly.

Miyuki blushed. "Ah, not really looking for an orgy right now." Miyuki said, blushing even as she looked around. "So, um... We're going to be your bodyguards for this tour."

"Ah, great! I get eye-candy protecting me!" Marona giggled even as Fiasse threw her arms up in disgust. "Oh, come on, I'm just teasing, Fiasse, you know that I like your eye-candy the best."

Fiasse flushed scarlet at that. "Marona, keep saying that and they'll think we're lovers," she muttered.

Marona blinked and gasped. "You mean we aren't? And all this time, I thought you loved me!"

The songstress whimpered even as she smiled, letting Marona fling herself dramatically against her.

"You're wet." Fiasse pointed out the obvious as her clothes were getting damp.

"Damn right I am." Marona grinned at her, getting a stammer from the singer. "Okay, okay, fine, no making love in front of your friends..." She looked at Miyuki and winked. "Unless you want to watch of course."

Miyuki swallowed hard and suddenly found herself missing Shamal's overprotective ways. "Uh, sorry, not interested," she muttered. "I have a date back home."

Marona pouted even as Fiasse perked up. "Oh really? Do tell! Do tell! I want to know!"

Miyuki laughed nervously. "It's our first date. I'm kind of nervous talking about it."

"Oh, so you aren't taken then!"

"Marona!" Fiasse yelped out, before getting a quick kiss on the lips.

"Heh heh, sorry, you're just too cute like that." She giggled softly and got off of Fiasse. "I'm going to shower, if I scream... Well, pay attention to how I scream." She winked and walked into the bathroom, closing the door.

"She's... Kind of brazen." Miyuki said, twitching slightly. "Are you two lovers?"

Fiasse cleared her throat awkwardly as Miyuki twitched. "Currently, we're trying to figure that out."

Kyouya shook his head. "Brazen or not, Miyuki, we have to protect her, okay?" Miyuki nodded and sighed, grumbling about it being easy for him, since she stopped hitting on him.

In the bathroom, soaking in the tub, Marona sighed as she listened in to the conversation. "Please, don't think badly of her..." She heard Fiasse's voice, since she left the door open a little bit. "She's a good person, it's just how she deals with her past."

"Some past." She heard Miyuki mutter.

Marona sighed and leaned back, closing her eyes and tuning out the conversation. You have no idea, girl, just how bad my home world was. I'm sorry that you're here though. Fiasse's the only person that's ever been around me that's known about my powers and didn't kick me out. She thought to herself, sighing. Even the TSAB found her abilities freakish, it was why she was sent to Earth after all. Even the spirits bothered her, since they all had their past hang-ups and none of them were too friendly.

"Marona, are you okay in there?" She heard Fiasse's voice, startling her as she sat up.

"Huh? What?" She blinked as the door opened. Strange, she must have fallen asleep, the water was cold now.

"Are you okay?" Fiasse asked, still wearing her clothes from before as she walked into the bathroom. "You've been in here awhile now."

"I'm fine." Marona slid back down into the water, ignoring how chilly it was. "I must have fallen asleep or something." She smirked. "How are Kyouya-san and Miyuki-san?"

Hearing the way Marona said Miyuki's name, Fiasse bit back a groan. "Leave her alone," she scolded gently. "I don't know who this person back on Mid-Childa is, but Miyuki seems genuinely interested in her. It might be for the long haul."

Marona chuckled. "Just admit it. You're jealous."

Fiasse rolled her eyes and splashed Marona in the face. "No, I'm not. I'm happy for her. She and Kyouya were my best friends growing up, why do you think I asked for their help?"

"Because their father was considered one of the best in his prime and you know that they're good at fighting?" Marona raised an eyebrow, smirking at the look on Fiasse's face. "I have my hobbies."

Calmly, Fiasse leaned down and dunked Marona. She held her down for several seconds, ignoring the way she thrashed and sputtered, before letting her back up again. "Did the cold water clear your head?" she asked sweetly.

Marona sputtered. "W-what the hell?"

"Shiro-san was an excellent bodyguard in his time. He guarded my father on many occasions, including the accident that killed him." Fiasse's eyes darkened. "Kyouya and Miyuki are dear friends to me, regardless of their abilities. I would trust them with my life."

Marona nodded softly, gulping at the look in Fiasse's eyes. She hadn't seen this look in her eyes before, and, honestly, it scared her. "Fiasse?"

"Don't insult them again." She stood up and left the bathroom, leaving a blinking and saddened Marona behind.

Marona was silent and looked at the water. Way to go, you stupid idiot. You hate being alone, why the hell do you try to push everyone away from you? Of course, there was no one to answer her as she started at her reflection, sighing. Put up all the walls and attitude you want, Marona, you're still an idiot that's pathetic.

After several long minutes, there was a quiet cough. "Marona-san?"

Marona blinked, looking up. "Miyuki-san?"

"Uh, yeah." Miyuki coughed again, awkwardly. "Can I... come in?"

"You sure? I'm naked, wet, I might try something that you, Fiasse or your girlfriend back home might not like. But if you still want to, go right ahead."

Miyuki stepped inside. "The mood you're in, I highly doubt that."

Marona glared. "What makes you think so?"

"Oh, I don't know, that glare you're giving me? Or maybe the fact that Fiasse just stormed out of here, looking ready to cry the minute she was alone?"

Marona snorted and slumped. "I screwed up, okay? I insulted her relationship with you and Kyouya-san and now she's pissed at me and it would probably be better if I didn't spend the night here." Miyuki didn't say anything and Marona rolled her eyes. "See, even you agree with me. I'll finish this bath and then go hit the bar or something all night."

"... And I thought I was dense," Miyuki murmured.

"Excuse me?"

Miyuki sighed. "Marona-san, Fiasse doesn't think like that. You should know that if you've been with her for so long. I'm sure you hurt her, but she's probably mad at herself, too."

Marona was silent for awhile before sighing. "I know... I just don't want to deal with it."

"What?"

"It's hard, alright? Dealing with emotions, with people. Never had to do that in the TSAB. Always worked alone, never with people. It's tiring, and I got used to it."

Looking at the singer, Miyuki suddenly wasn't so sure that dismissing what Fiasse had said before was the right thing. "If it's so tiring, why don't you try?"

"I have tried, Miyuki-san." Marona sighed and suddenly seemed incredibly old and tired. "Fiasse's the first person that didn't throw me out after finding out about my powers, okay? I can summon, see, and talk to spirits that are floating around. My parents died when I was six, I lived alone the rest of my life." She sighed and got up. "Can you get me a towel? I'll just leave for the night."

"You know, I asked Fiasse if you two were lovers." Miyuki shrugged. "You know what she said? She said you're still trying to figure that out."

Marona sighed again, stepping out and grabbing a towel and wrapping it around her. "I know. We are. It's hard." Miyuki nodded at that. "I want more from her... But considering how much flak she's gotten for having a bi-sexual woman as a singing partner, I don't want to think about the problems she would have if we went further..." She shook her head. "Sometimes, I wonder if maybe it would be better to just disappear and let her go back to her peaceful life."

Miyuki sighed. "Look," she said gently, "I'm not the leading expert on love. Currently, I'm tripping my way through it myself. But I don't think it's fair, to either of you, if you just disappear without at least talking to her and letting her understand what you're thinking."

Marona sighed, looking sad. "What should I do? Talk to her? I... I'm worried, okay?"

"You?" Miyuki chuckled before getting a glare from the green-haired girl.

"Yes, me. I'm worried, okay? I'm used to being alone, of having no one around me at any time simply because of how I am. I kept pushing people away because I knew that they would just leave me once they knew."

"I see..." Miyuki trailed off. "Fiasse pretty much took you in then, didn't she? She never questioned you, never said anything... just took you in."

Marona nodded, sighing heavily. "I know, oh gods, i know..." She slipped down to her butt and hugged her knees to her chest. "I'm scared... Scared of losing her over this... Scared of going further and scaring her off."

Miyuki sighed, leaning back against the counter. "You know, a long time ago my dad said to me the only person who can hurt us best is the person we love the most." She looked at Marona quietly. "You're hurting, and Fiasse was definitely hurting when she left. You need to talk to her, even if you decide to leave."

Marona said nothing and after watching her for a few minutes, Miyuki sighed and patted her on the shoulder. "You'll catch a cold. Why don't you get some clothes on?"

"Black suitcase is mine... Just bring it here." Marona said, sighing heavily.

"All right." Miyuki quietly slipped away to find it. She could only hope things would work out now.

Fiasse looked away from the window and at Miyuki as she came out of the bathroom, Kyouya had left to get some take out and bring back to the room. "How... How is she?"

"Hurting... She's upset, Fiasse, she hurt you, she knows she did." Seeing her friend slump, Miyuki shook her head. "Actually... She needs to get dressed, why don't you take her some of her clothes and talk?"

Fiasse hesitated. "I don't know..."

"Fiasse, talk to her." Loving her old friend and former flame, Miyuki hugged her gently. "The worst she can do at this point is reject you."

With that, she walked away and out the door, looking up and down the hallway, checking for people who were suspitious.

(---)

Days later, Miyuki sighed as she and Kyouya stood outside the dressing rooms. "Well?"

"Haven't seen anything." He said as he stood there. "I took a look around, saw nothing and security said that no one looked weird."

"Right." Miyuki nodded and looked down the hallway. "I'm surprised though."

"What?" Kyouya looked at her curiously.

She looked at him and smirked softly. "That Fiasse and Marona can sing so well together after all the problems." Especially since it didn't seem like either of them had talked much at all.

"They work well together at least." Kyouya smiled softly.

"Yeah." Miyuki frowned, wondering if that was the only thing that linked them together at this point.

"Did you speak to Hayate-chan?" Kyouya's voice was soft.

"Briefly." She nodded. "Those scandels Marona was involved in? Mostly because whoever she was working with or trying to help couldn't accept her power. None of the incidents were her fault specifically, but she got a lot of flak for it because she didn't fit in."

"So, she took all the blame over everything, huh?" Kyouya sighed and shook his head.

"Yeah." Miyuki sighed. "Some of the generals realized what was going on and got her away from everything, here to Earth. I can only assume she met up with Fiasse not long after that happened, and they started traveling together."

The two stood straighter as the door opened, Fiasse and Marona walking out, Fiasse in a tube top and an orange over shirt, an orange skirt that went to her knees and platform shoes, making her look a few inches taller. Marona was wearing a similar outfit that was green instead of orange.

"Alright, let's go!" Marona grinned as Kyouya took the lead and Miyuki followed the to stars to the stage. "Let's sing our hearts out."

Fiasse smiled, she rather liked it when Marona was chipper, loud and brash.

The two bodyguards stopped and let the singers go to the stage, where they grabbed the mics, smiling as people cheered. "Are you ready?!" Both Fiasse and Marona yelled out, getting more cheers as the music started.

Off stage, Kyouya smirked at his sister. "You ever wanted to get into that?"

"Nah, I wasn't that good. You had all the singing talent..."

Kyouya laughed softly. "Remember when Nanoha took up the guitar?" Miyuki nodded, smiling, that girl was a natural for the guitar.

"Remember the concert she, Fate-chan and Hayate-chan had in high school?"

"That was fun." Kyouya smiled softly.

"Yeah." Miyuki chuckled. Nanoha hadn't had many of those moments, but she'd damn well made the most of them when she could. "They had fun with that."

Kyouya nodded, sighing as he watched the concert. "Honestly, the way those two sing together, you'd never know they were having problems."

"They bounce off each other. They can't help it. You can't deny something like that when you're in love." Miyuki commented with a small smile as she looked away, frowning at one of the stage hands, who had dropped a wrench onto some loose pipes and apologized as he picked it up and scampered off.

"You think they are?" Kyouya asked amused as Miyuki nodded and looked back at the two. "Well, whether they are or they aren't, I don't know, but they are good together."

Miyuki nodded and blinked as she looked up. "Hey, Kyouya... Is anyone supposed to be above the stage?"

"No..." He looked up frowning. "How fast can you climb?"

"Fast enough, I'll check it out." She said and rushed away.

Kyouya nodded and watched as she left. Still... He pulled out a radio and contacted security and told them to watch out for people in places that they weren't supposed to be.

Moving lightly on her feet, Miyuki easily climbed up and vaulted onto the area over the stage, pausing as her eyes adjusted to the darkness. She could make out the flashing of lights below, see bits of dust floating in the air...

She heard the footsteps before she saw anything and whipped around, barely avoiding a direct shot to the chest. She tripped, stumbled, and managed to keep her footing long enough to dodge a second shot, but she didn't know her way around the top and didn't have her footing.

The third shot did her in.

(---)

Shamal's eyes widened as the glass she was reaching for suddenly shattered.

Vita and Signum looked at it, then looked at Shamal. "Not a good omen." They muttered as one.

Rein and Agio, both in their normal small size, stopped eating the food on their plates, just staring at Shamal as she trembled. "Are you okay, Shamal?" Rein asked, concerned.

Shamal shook her head, sighing. "I should be... Just surprised is all."

Signum raised a brow. "I wondered if something happened to Miyuki," she said.

"What makes you say that?" Agito asked curiously.

"Just an old legend I heard once, about bad things happening as an omen or warning when one's lover was killed or critically wounded in battle."

Signum shrugged at the looks she was getting. "Just an old legend. Some of the fighters I hung out with back on Earth swore that it told them when bad things happened to their loved ones when stuff like this happened. Of course, they would then laugh it off and say that their loved ones always came home fine a few months later."

(---)

Amazingly, Miyuki was still semi-conscious enough to grab onto the railing even as her legs went wobbly and weak, desperately clinging even as blood soaked the railing. Her grip loosened slightly as her brain went fuzzy and blank, and only dimly could she hear the approaching footsteps of her attacker.

She heard a dim cli-clack of a gun being primed. "You shouldn't protect such scum like her." The voice said, before crying out in pain. "DAMMIT!" He screamed, a sword through his hand and his gun falling into pieces.

It was too easy for Miyuki to let go, her grip finally slackened as she fell. Idly, she wondered if it would hurt when she landed, or if it wouldn't.

"Got you." She heard Marona's voice as arms wrapped around her and her descent slowed down.

Despite her rapdily fading eyesight, she chuckled. "Am I in hell?"

"Haha." Marona gently set her down as the other man, dressed as one of the stage hands, was handled by Kyouya as he rushed out onto stage. "I don't think he was the only one, dammit, I think..."

Miyuki saw it out of the corner of her eye then, the flash of a Device, a small one, being aimed at Marona.

The next instant, Fiasse was in the way.

There was a green glow of energy from the device as a circle appeared in front of the device. "...No... NO!" Marona screamed, her eyes flashing green as Miyuki's fallen sword suddenly changed forms, becoming a green dragon that was as large as a semi-truck.

"What the hell?!" The attacker stopped, his eyes wide.

"Dragon... Spirit... Confined!" Marona panted, her eyes glowing. "Get him!"

"GRAAAAAAAAH!" The dragon screamed and moved towards the one attacker.

"Damn," Miyuki wheezed out. "Why couldn't it do that before?"

Fiasse stared, just stared, as the dragon attacked her would-be murderer. "Never seen you do that before," she commented faintly. Suddenly, she was glad the concert had ended.

"I can confine the spirits of the dead into any object for a short amount of time, letting them help me in battle." Marona said, ignoring how her freshly summoned dragon smashed the person on the ground before letting out a slow blaze to the person in the rafters, and tended to Miyuki. "Damn... I can't get a bullet out of you..." She muttered, her eyes glowing a little. "I can slow the bleeding." She muttered, knowing some basic healing. "But you need a doctor."

Miyuki nodded as Kyouya blinked as the dragon suddenly disappeared, leaving nothing but the sword behind. "And you needed us?"

"I can't confine spirits to flesh, and I'm no good as a fighter." She panted. "I can turn an entire battle field into an army for a short time, but I'm useless if someone gets the jump on me."

"I see." Fiasse still sounded a little faint. "You do this, when someone could just as easily die for you without having such a negative impact on your body."

Knowing this wasn't the time, Marona looked at Kyouya. "We need to get her to a healer, or a doctor, or something. Do you know anyone?"

Kyouya nodded grimly as he finished dealing with the attacker that had stopped at the appearance of the dragon. "Yeah." He sighed as he dragged the person with him and tossed him to the stage roughly.

Miyuki groaned. "Oh, hell," she whispered. "Shamal's going to kill me." With that, she passed out.

(---)

One day later Fiasse looked up as Marona and Kyouya walked into the waiting room. "How is she?"

"The doctors said she'll stabalize, she'll be alright." Kyouya said, shaking his head. He couldn't believe that this had happened. At least his sister would be fine in a few days at most.

Fiasse nodded and blinked as a short brown-haired woman in a brown military outfit walked in, a tall blond wearing a doctor uniform following her a moment later. "Um... Hello?"

"Fiasse, this is Hayate Yagami and Shamal." Kyouya motioned to the two. "This is Fiasse, the other one we were hired to watch."

Fiasse stood up and offered her hand, smiling weakly. "Hello," she said weakly. "I'd apologize for being such a mess, but I haven't been home since Miyuki was shot."

Hayate nodded to the older woman. "That's fine," she sighed heavily. "Between the mess with what's going on back home right now and this..." She groaned. "Signum and Vita are looking over the remains of the device right now."

"What's going on back on Mid-Childa?" Kyouya asked, blinking as Hayate shook her head.

"I don't know the full details, right now, but there's a lot of suicides going on. I had to call all of Nanoha-chan's old students in to deal with what's going on." At least Teana had gotten a new partner as they looked over the case.

"You had time to come out here?" Kyouya blinked as Hayate nodded at him.

"They need someone who's high ranked enough to deal with the fact that there are devices being used for crimes out here. Subaru's an Ace, Teana's an enforcer, I can trust them. Erio and Caro were trained by Nanoha, they'll be fine."

Kyouya nodded quietly. "I see."

Hayate looked between him and Fiasse. "Can you tell me what happened?"

Fiasse shrugged helplessly. "I just heard gunshots," she said. "Next thing I knew, Miyuki was dangling from the railing."

Kyouya grimaced. "I saw some movement up above the stage as the concert was ending, and she went up to check it out. Looking at the scene, it seems the guy she went after only used a normal gun. He shot once, threw her off, but she managed to keep her feet under her to avoid the second shot. The third shot hit her right where it counted."

Fiasse shuddered. It had been many years since she and Miyuki had been old flames, but the genuine friendship she felt for the younger girl still made her wince.

Hayate nodded and looked at Shamal, who was silent. "Go, go see her."

"I'll take you," Fiasse offered, standing up. "Security recognizes me. They won't let in strangers."

Hayate nodded in understanding as the singer led the doctor out of the room.

Hayate sighed after they left and grimaced, looking at Kyouya. "What happened? One was skewered by something that looked like a claw and the other one was burned to death."

"Fiasse's lover," Kyouya deadpanned.

"I'm not her lover," Marona grumbled.

Hayate shook her head. "Look, right now, I don't care who is who's lover, who pregnant with who's child, who does what, just what happened? There's a damaged Intelligent Device on Earth, a former TSAB member, what looks like a Dragon destroying things and I need answers and I need them now." Her eyes narrowed at the two.

Marona sighed. "Fine," she muttered. "Sit down. It's a long story."

"With a happy ending, hopefully," Kyouya murmured.

"Stop that!" Marona snapped at him as Hayate crossed her arms and waited for the whole story.

--

"She's in this room." Fiasse nodded quietly to the door and gesturing to the security guard. "I apologize, I know you probably want to see her alone."

Shamal sighed and thanked her as she went inside. It was weird, seeing Miyuki hooked up to a respirator. "...You're awake." She said softly, surprised.

"Yeah... Sorry." Miyuki said softly as she groaned softly.

Shamal shook her head. "You have an amazing body," she murmured.

Miyuki would've shrugged, but she wasn't capable of it. "I wake up fast, especially when I'm fearing for my life," she joked quietly. "I didn't really know how to react when Kyou-chan said you were coming."

"So, what happened out there?" She asked, wondering as she sat down.

"Bad area, lost my footing, got shot. I'm lucky that I'm alive." She groaned and winced as a flare of pain came through her body. "I'm lucky."

"How bad...?"

"Missed my heart by this much." Miyuki winced again as she held up her hand, her fingers inches apart. "Not to mention once she got over seeing a dragon, Fiasse was pretty quick to patch me up. Probably saved my life, since she slowed down the bleeding."

"I told you... I told you, didn't I? I told you to be careful, didn't I?"

"I was, I just lost my footing... I should have taken a rock or something to throw at him at least." Miyuki groaned at the look Shamal was giving her. "I'm a good shot."

"You went up onto unfamiliar territory."

"Maybe." Miyuki wilted at the look Shamal gave her. "Okay, fine, I didn't know my way around all that well. I avoided his first two shots."

Shamal nodded and sat down near the bed. "Well, I'm just glad that you're alright. You do, realize, of course, that you can't play bodyguard for the rest of the tour."

Miyuki chuckled. "And I was totally in the mood to have a catfight with Marona over Fiasse, too," she joked gently.

Shamal shook her head, chuckling. "I guess, as long as you're capable of joking, then I guess you'll be okay, won't you?"

"I guess. The doctors said I won't be up and about for awhile." Miyuki sighed. "Man, but that was scary. I closed my eyes, and I didn't even want to wake up."

"It would be easy, wouldn't it? To fall asleep and never wake up again, wouldn't it?" Shamal sighed heavily.

"For what it's worth, Shamal... I'm sorry that I didn't listen to you more." Shamal looked at Miyuki. "... And I, uh, woke up. Yeah," Miyuki said weakly, trying to understand the look in Shamal's eyes.

"Maybe Signum was right..." Shamal muttered and sighed. "Miyuki... I... I don't know right now."

"Shamal?"

"Maybe I shouldn't have gotten invovled."

Now Miyuki was confused. "Gotten involved in what?"

Shamal shook her head. "No... I don't know... Honestly, I... I have some reservations about being in a relationship... No matter the relationship."

The pain in Miyuki's chest seemed to sharpen and flare up at that, and she closed her eyes. "All right," she said softly. "I can understand that."

After all, what was she supposed to do? Argue? Force Shamal to accept her feelings? That wasn't fair to either of them.

Shamal closed her eyes and sighed. "I... I... Miyuki, I'm nervous, okay? I..." She took a deep breath. "I wouldn't mind giving us a chance."

Suddenly Miyuki's eyes opened and looked at Shamal as a warm feeling rushed through her body. "S...Seriously, Shamal?"

The blond nodded at her. "Yeah. But, I... I don't think I can go very far right now, if we have a relationship together."

Miyuki laughed at that and opened her eyes. "I can understand that, Shamal. I'm saying it's fine. I don't mind waiting."

"Well, we're going to have to wait for that date." Shamal chuckled. "Since you're hurt."

Miyuki nodded, laughing slightly, before she realized that Fiasse hadn't left. "Sorry I can't be more help."

Her friend shook her head, smiling softly. "Don't... It's okay. I'll have cancel..."

"No." Miyuki shook her head. "Just because I got hurt, you can't stop the concerts..." She trailed off as she looked at Shamal. "Actually, Shamal, who came with you?"

"Hayate, Rein, Agito, Vita, Zafira and Signum, why?"

Miyuki chuckled. "Well, if there are more people with devices going to each concert and want to attack you... Who better to protect you than some knights?"

"Uh, Miyuki..." Fiasse spoke up softly. "You can't just volunteer..."

"Actually, she's right." Shamal smiled at Fiasse. "There's some dangers going on right now, you can't cancel your concerts, can you?" Seeing Fiasse shake her head in protest, Shamal nodded at her, "besides, if more devices show up, at least all of us can fly to deal with someone in the rafters."

Miyuki chuckled softly. "Sorry about this, Shamal."

Shamal smiled. "I don't mind."

Noticing the look in Shamal's eyes, Fiasse blinked before a small light bulb lit up in her head. "I'll just, uh, leave now," she said hastily, backing out of the room. "I need to go see how Marona's holding up anyway, and security knows who you are Shamal, so you shouldn't have a problem. Bye."

With that, Fiasse was gone.

Miyuki blinked. "Weird..."

"Yes... Miyuki..."

"Yeah, Shamal?"

The blond smiled softly at her. "Do try to not get hurt so often on me. I would have a hard time dating you... Unless you want all our dates to be in the hospital?"

Miyuki chuckled and shook her head. "No worries about that." She said softly. Still, a warm feeling filled her, she was glad that she had a chance to still date Shamal.

While Shamal was talking to Miyuki, Fiasse wandered around the hospital, idly noticing that a tall pink-haired woman in a brown outfit, a short redheaded girl in a similar outfit, and a blue wolf seemed to slide up near her as she walked around. "Um, hello." She said to the pink-haired woman, who nodded at her. "...You must be with Yagami-san."

"Yes." The pink-haired woman nodded. "My name is Signum."

"Ah, I see." Fiasse cleared her throat awkwardly. "Do you know if Yagami-san is done speaking to Kyouya and Marona yet?"

"She should be." Signum glanced down the hallway. "Though I heard some raised voices earlier, but she assured me all was going well. Don't be surprised if she asks you questions about Marona, though."

Fiasse nodded quietly, then headed down the hall to find her partner and see what kind of shape she was in. She knew Marona had been acting out of sorts since their argument, and she'd been hoping to resolve things.

They turned a corner, there they saw Hayate looking up at Marona, talking about a few things, before they turned and waved to the approaching group. Fiasse was surprised to see two incredibly small beings floating around Hayate's head, seemingly engaged in a conversation about something involving tomatoes. Nearby, Kyouya was standing, looking around for people who looked suspitious.

"Ah." Fiasse cleared her throat.

Hayate looked up at her. "I have one question for you, Fiasse-san..."

"Yes?"

"Did you realize how dangerous this was?"

Fiasse blinked, then shrugged. "Marona's a good singer. I enjoy her company. I figured the pros outweigh the cons."

Hayate rubbed her forehead. "It's far too dangerous to continue these concerts normally, you know that, right?" Seeing her nod, Hayate shook her head. "But stopping because you were threatened isn't the way to go, is it?" Getting a shake of Fiasse's head, Hayate sighed. "Normally, I wouldn't be able to do this, but since there's been a threat on your life, with a device and a former TSAB mage involved somehow... I can authorize any currently active member of the TSAB to guard you."

"Hayate..." Vita spoke up, getting Hayate, Fiasse and Marona to look at her. "These devices... They're more advanced than most of the ones made by the TSAB... But unstable. Otherwise this one wouldn't have broken from that attack..."

"My guess is that the thought of someone using this world to test them isn't far off..." Signum sighed. "However, it's unlikely that someone in power is doing this. They would use one of the worlds that have access to magic and are in a state of war."

"So, either a rogue agent or the one who built them wanted to test them and didn't want the TSAB to know about it." Hayate sighed and shook her head, walking back and forth slowly. "Vita, where is the device?"

"On the ship. It's a potent thing, if it had been reinforced a bit more, it wouldn't have broke." Vita muttered, impressed by what had been discovered. "Those guys that had it didn't have much of any magic ability, yet they could still use it." Not well, but they still could.

"I see..." Hayate muttered softly.

Vita glanced at Kyouya. "You should be grateful Miyuki was just shot. A blast from one of these things would've killed her instantly."

Kyouya frowned. "I don't understand that. If they had these Devices, why use a gun? I know they're smaller and easier to use, but the power is less."

Suddenly, Hayate paled. "Unless..."

"Hayate?"

"Unless they took that power and found a way to put it in a bullet," Hayate whispered. "It would have a delayed effect. It'd take at least a day or two for the power to hit Miyuki."

"Hayate?" Vita was nervous. "What do you...?

The brown-haired woman started to run down the hallway, yelling at Signum and Vita to stay there even as Zafira and Rein followed her, Agito just hovered near Signum, surprised.

"Oi... Signum, what did she mean by that?" Agito asked, completely confused.

Signum shook her head. "Magic is channeled through a medium to be used," she said. "That medium can be just about anything, so long as it can handle the extra pressure of the magic."

"So..."

"So somehow, whoever constructed these devices found a way to put that same magical force into bullets that could handle holding them... with the intention of killing its victims later." It was rather ingenius and incredible. But, it wasn't exactly a stable or exact science yet. Not to mention that it was a rather brutal way of using magic.

(---)

Hayate rushed into the room, Zafira and Rein behind her a moment later as they saw Miyuki gasped and gripped her chest, which started to glow red. "Shamal! That bullet that shot her... It was magic laced..."

Shamal's eyes widened as she went to work trying to stop the damage, there was a green flash and she was in the poofy dress of her Knight armor, her rings glowing as she worked to stop the damage. "Rein, I'm going to need some help."

"Right!" The small device said as she floated over. "Unison... in!" She disappeared, Shamal's hair turning completely white, the light green on her knight outfit turned a silvery-blue color, the deeper green color turned a gray-blue color, and Shamal's brown eyes turned a shade of yellow as the unison completed.

"How did you find out?" Shamal asked as she moved to Miyuki.

"Kyouya mentioned it. Said it was odd that two men who were capable of using Devices was using a gun, and it triggered something in my head..."

She nodded and went to work forcing her magic in to stop the spreading damage. "Rein..."

"On it. Got it, here." Shamal heard Rein's voice in her head as the two worked and purged the magic and healed the damage on Miyuki's body.

"How does that work?" Zafira asked quietly as Miyuki whimpered.

"It's destructive magic, plain and simple." Hayate gritted her teeth. "The bullet must have passed some of it on when it hit Miyuki, and it's been festering inside her since the injury was inflicted."

"But can Shamal--"

Zafira's question died when Miyuki jerked once, shuddered, and her eyes closed.

Shamal cursed and went about doing what she could. Between her and Rein, the two of them managed to quickly slow and stall the damage. "Hayate... I don't know how these people had these kind of weapons, but that changes some things, doesn't it?" Zafira asked his master, who nodded at the question.

"Shamal?"

Shamal didn't know if she wanted to curse, cry, or do a little bit of both at the moment. "She's all right," she said tightly. "She's lost conciousness, but she's all right, at least for now. I managed to stabilize the worst of the damage..."

Miyuki was still beneath Shamal's hands, though she trembled occasionally.

Hayate nodded and sighed heavily. "Alright. This is more than enough. I am officially launching an investigation into this matter. And since it seems that this matter is attached to both Fiasse and Marona, we'll have to stay close to them to find out just what's going on." Hopefully there wasn't many of those devices on Earth, it could be a pain otherwise.

Rein squeaked as she felt frustration and fury coming off Shamal in waves. "Shamal? What's wrong?" It wasn't like her to be so angry or annoyed; the healer was usually the calmest member of the Wolkenwritter.

Hayate's eyes softened. "Shamal, you didn't know."

"I know, I know. It doesn't make it any easier, but..." She sighed. "I was... Actually looking forward to going on a date and then this happens."

"You knew it could." Hayate blinked as her phone started ringing. "Excuse me." She stepped to the side and answered it. "Yes? No... No... I don't care... What? Alright, I can't get back to Mid-childa for a month. No, no. Look, just get whatever information you can. There's a situation here on Earth. Yes, it could have repercussions for everyone on Mid-childa. Yes, I will send update and file reports when this is over. Goodbye." She sighed and shook her head. "Looks like there's something insane going on back home."

"Something insane always happens," Rein murmured.

Shamal didn't reply, but she felt slightly comforted when Miyuki continued to breath.

(---)

"Fiasse." Kyouya's soft voice made the songstress look up. "I'm going to get something to drink."

"You should." She smiled gently and leaned up to hug him, sighing. "You pushed yourself hard."

"I'm fine." His arms came around her, squeezed briefly. "You're still such a midget."

"It's not my fault you never stopped growing."

Kyouya laughed, then left to go get his drink, leaving Fiasse alone with Marona.

"Sorry that you had to see that." The green-haired woman said, noticing that the two knights were at the end of the hallway, talking softly. "I never was good with dealing with some situations."

Fiasse chuckled. "Actually, I've always wanted to see a dragon. It's one of my dreams from childhood." She shuddered. "Though I never actually dreamed about getting in the way of a Device like that. I did it on my own."

Marona nodded and leaned back. "I... I'm sorry... If I wasn't here, I doubt you'd be in trouble right now. The spirits, they're taunting me, telling me that it's my fault that everything that happened to Miyuki-san is all my fault."

"Miyuki's strong. She's done this for a long time. She knows the risks, and so does Kyouya." Fiasse sighed. "It isn't your fault this happened. I could've been traveling with a rainbow unicorn and they still would've ended up hurt."

Marona shook her head. "They wouldn't have looked at you if it wasn't for me. They know that I'm a former TSAB member..." She trailed off shrugging. "It wouldn't be hard to look up former members of the TSAB, most of us migrate to Earth anyway."

"They do?" Fiasse blinked as Marona nodded at her.

"Non-administrated planet, fairly comparable level of technology to Mid-Childa for most things, fairly comfortable and relaxing..." She shrugged. "It's basically a giant vacation spot for most of us."

"I see."

"Yeah..."

Fiasse shrugged. "So?

Marona blinked. "... Excuse me?"

"What? You can summon a dragon... Big deal."

"Uh... It's dead... It's been dead for thousands of years by now." Marona pointed at the lamp. "See that? Right next to it is a patient who died here because the doctor was an idiot. Not useful in a fight, but next to him is a wolf that died hundreds of years ago of rabies."

"Really?" Fiasse blinked, surprised. "It... It must be hard on you, huh?"

"Yes. Now do you understand?"

"Understand what?"

"How dangerous I am?" Marona sighed. "You're much better off with Miyuki-san."

Fiasse laughed.

"What?" Marona blinked at the laughter she was receiving. "It would be better, I think. Then you wouldn't mmmph!" Her eyes widened as Fiasse kissed her for a moment.

"Miyuki and I shared beds for awhile when we were younger, I won't deny that. Marona, you saved both of us though. We've been working together for awhile now. So... Just because someone's targeting you... I'm not going to leave you alone to deal with this, okay?"

"B-but..."

"Besides, I don't think Miyuki's looking in my direction." Fiasse chuckled.

Marona blinked. "You, uh..."

"Yes?"

"You just kissed me." There was a stunned look on her face as Fiasse smiled at her and nodded.

"Yes..."

"I thought you were mad at me." Marona said with a soft blush.

Fiasse shook her head. "Upset that you insulted my friends, I was never mad at you."

"...Oh... For what it's worth, they're really impressive. I've never seen anyone dodge bullets or throw a katana from that distance so accurately before." Marona chuckled softly. "I'm still sorry that you got involved in this."

"Don't apologize." Fiasse waved a hand. "I knew what I was signing up for when I agreed to let you travel and sing with me."

At that, Marona blushed. "You know..."

"What?"

"You're talking like we're dating..."

Fiasse chuckled at hearing that, before she nodded softly. "Yeah, it does... Look, Marona, I know that you've been hurt, and I haven't been in many relationships myself... But, it's fine... I like you."

"So..." Marona started blushing hard. "You won't leave me then?" Fiasse shook her head, causing Marona to start pressing her index fingers together. "Well, if that's the case, well.. You should know that you're going to have fans hate it when you announce this."

Fiasse blinked innocently. "But Marona, I have nothing to announce."

"Eh?"

"It wouldn't be fair of me to announce anything if you don't feel the same way, you know?"

Marona blinked and chuckled, nodding softly. "Yeah... So, Fiasse... Will you be my girlfriend?"

She smiled at the green-haired woman, nodding softly.

"WHOO HOO!" Marona pumped her fist into the air, getting an odd look or two from the people in the hospital, but she ignored it.

Fiasse laughed softly. "Why didn't you say something sooner?"

"Would you believe me if I said that I was scared out of my mind? That I honestly couldn't bear the thought of being rejected by you?" She blinked as Fiasse took her hand and smiled softly at her.

"Yeah, I can."

"Ah... Thank you." Marona smiled and squeezed Fiasse's hand. "I'm sorry for upsetting you."

Chuckling, the orange-tinted brunette shook her head. "It's okay, Marona, it's okay."

Down the hallway, Signum looked at Vita and sighed, pulling out some money and handing it to her. "How did..?"

Vita chuckled, grinning. "I'm just that good."


Yes, for those who know, that is Marona from Nippon Ichi's "Phantom Brave" video game for the PS2 and the Wii. This is a Marona that lived without meeting Castille and making friends with her as a young girl and grew up to become the way she is in this chapter.