Falling face first onto my bed, I looked over the sheets and to the bags laying on the floor nearby. My dress was currently being washed by Nanoha-mama, and everything else was already starting to come together. I was almost done preparing for the dance, but still had the major problem of deciding which friend to take with me. Rolling onto my back, I looked up at Kris flying above me. "My legs are sore from walking," I told him, smiling as he landed on my shoulder to give my ear a soft pat in an attempt to comfort me. "To top it off, I spent all my savings and allowance for the next three weeks on that necklace." Leaning my head to the side, I looked at my companion and asked him a question that had been bugging me ever since my jewelry had been rung up. "Why do things have to be so expensive?" No answer came to me, other than a shaking of his head. I looked back up at the ceiling and moved my feet together to peel off my sock using my toes. "One more day to make up my mind… and I still don't know what I should do…"
Winter Festival II
"I think you already know." Nanoha's voice made Vivio look up from her bed and over at her door, where her mother was standing with two mugs of hot chocolate. "I thought you could use a little warm up after being in the cold all day."
"Thank you," Vivio sat up and accepted the offered mug. "Although, what do you mean I already know?"
Nanoha took a moment to sip her drink before replying. "I watched you today and saw what decisions you made while shopping. I don't know your friends as well as you do, of course, but to me it seemed like you were already leaning towards one of them by the time we were done." She looked at her daughter while taking another sip.
"Think so?" Vivio looked down at her mug, rolling this information over in her head. "Then why don't I know what to tell them?"
"Because it's never easy to tell a friend how you feel, even if it's a positive response. For you, having to give two replies, one of which won't be happy, I can understand not wanting to think about it." Placing on hand on Vivio's back, Nanoha gave her encouragement. "You will make the right choice; just think about why we spent all day shopping, and why you picked out what you did. That will lead you to your answer."
"... Okay," Vivio gave a weak smile. "I'll think about it."
"Drink, before it gets cold," Nanoha advised before standing.
"Yes ma'am," Vivio took a small sip to show that she would before her mother left the room and closed the door softly in her wake. "Think about why I chose what I did, huh Kris?" Her device raised one of its hands to agree.
Another small sip was taken and Vivio held the warm mug between her hands while staring into it. "I bought a dress, a purse, shoes, got my ears pierced, and even got a necklace... I wanted to answer their request with as much determination as they showed me. Einhart, who spent so much time to write me a letter so she could figure out her feelings towards me... and Syn, who wants to be my number one." Closing her eyes, she took a deep breath. "Why did I pick the things I did?" Her eyes went to the bags on her floor and one hand reached into a navy blue plastic bag to pull out a jewelry case. Opening it up, she stared at the glittering silver necklace that matched the metal of her earrings.
'I bought this because I wanted to do my best at showing them how seriously I was taking their words...' Tracing a finger along the cool metal, she tilted her head to the side slightly. 'But even so, just answering them honestly would have been enough to show that I was serious... This was a little overboard for that.' Closing the case, Vivio drank some more of the warm beverage and sighed out. 'I really... wanted to look nice for this. I've been on quite a few dates before, but each time I just went as myself, jeans and a shirt, sometimes going as far as wearing a nice skirt but never enough to go shopping for things I would never wear outside of a date or formal occasion.'
Vivio looked over at her closet door, where her dress was hanging. 'I even picked out something so revealing...' A small blush crept over her cheeks. 'Because I wanted to... show off a little bit, to really enjoy myself on this.' Her fingers went to touch her sore ears gently. 'And getting earrings, just to try and make myself look pretty... Even though neither of them would mind if I didn't even put on makeup. They both have their reasons for asking me... Einhart, who honestly has romantic feelings for me and wants to show me that they are coming from herself and not her past... And Syn, who wants to be the closest to me, even though she knows it will take time to get there.' Finishing her cup, she sat it on her headboard of the bed, next to the empty wassail mug from the previous night. 'Syn would want me to be myself more than anything, she didn't even notice I had my ears pierced until we talked for several minutes... I knew she would be like that... same with my necklace, she wouldn't even notice unless it was pointed out to her...' Vivio gave a small smile to herself. 'Nanoha-mama noticed this when I was still just shopping for myself. I picked the earrings and necklace out because I wanted Einhart to notice them on me... I guess that's what mama meant when she said I already chose.'
Leaning back on her bed, she allowed Kris to land on her chest as stand there while she thought. 'They are both my precious friends, but... Syn is... a friend. More than anything, she is someone I can go to, who will always understand and be there for me. I don't want to put that at risk.' Moving her hand to her chest, she let Kris walk onto it so she could bring him into her vision. "I think I actually want to explore the possibilities with Einhart, Kris." She told her device, getting a nod back.
"You're right," Vivio nodded, moving to touch his tiny hand with her finger tip. "I should call Einhart and let her know. Dial for me?" A monitor appeared before her and her friend's name flashed across it. "Oh wow, I actually feel a little nervous now..."
"Vivio!" Einhart's voice came up, sounding as if she had just ran to make it to her bed room for some privacy before answering.
"Hello," Vivio greeted, looking up at the screen. "You're on sound only."
"Ah, I... I was just training and..."
"Come on, video please? I want to see you right now."
"Oh... um... I am wet and..."
Vivio raised an eyebrow, knowing she could be seen. "I thought you were training?"
"Ah! I mean..." A small bit of silence came and Einhart's image finally came to the screen, revealing a girl soaking wet. A towel was held to her chest and the one in her hair had come loose, letting her bright hair spill off one side of her body while not the other. The girl's skin was still slightly pink from the hot shower, and from what Vivio could tell, a bit of shampoo was still on the girl's neck. "Uhm... I look a mess right now..."
Vivio couldn't help but smile broadly at her friend, knowing that this was driving the normally calm and collected Einhart crazy. "You look cute." Her words made the girl blush and look down. "Should I let you go?"
"Eh? No, no, I wouldn't have ran if I didn't want...to..." Seeing that cat-like smile, Einhart admitted defeat and simply plopped onto her computer desk chair. "I ran from the shower to talk to you, okay?" She looked up at Vivio, paused a moment, and then blushed, looking down.
"I know, but it's so much fun making you say it." Vivio countered, getting a pout mixed with a glare. "Uhm, the reason I called you..." Vivio sat up, making her screen move as well. Reaching upwards, she took the corners of the floating monitor and turned it to show her dress hanging on the door. "This is my dress for the dance." She let Einhart take it in a moment before turning the screen back to her.
"Does... does that mean...?"
Vivio took a deep breath. "I would be flattered if you let me accompany you to the dance, Einhart." A long silence came over them, paired with Einhart's shocked, yet pleased look.
"I...I don't know what to say right now..." The girl finally breathed out, laughing just a bit. "Wow... Vivio, thank you, this means so much to me..."
"I know," Vivio crossed her legs on the bed and held onto her ankles. "I'm... kind of interested to see where this leads... I mean, this could either be something really nice or really awkward later on."
"Yes," Einhart nodded. "I thought about that a long time before I managed to ask you."
"What made you finally do it?"
"I... didn't want to look back and regret it." Einhart gave her an honest smile. "And I would feel guilty having these feelings and you not knowing."
"I understand." Vivio smiled back and the two simply looked at each other for another few moments before laughing at the silence. "Okay... I'll let you finish showering."
Einhart looked to the side. "Uhm, before you go..." She glanced back at Vivio's curious face before blushing more and averting her eyes once again. "Your earrings... look really nice on you."
"Thank you, Einhart." Vivio reached up to touch her left ear. "I'm happy you noticed." Her friend gave her one more shy smile before the screens cut off. Falling back onto her bed, Vivio looked up at the ceiling and gave a goofy grin. "I wonder if calling her before I go to sleep will become a habit?" Kris landed on her forehead and bent over to look into his master's eyes. "Ne, Kris, I can act like a girl, right?" The bunny raised his hand and nodded, making Vivio smile happily.
Vivio took a deep breath while pacing across her room, the afternoon sun making her shadow pass on the floor steadily. "Okay... I just need to tell her the truth, she will understand." Moving to sit at her desk, Vivio looked down at Kris. "Call Syn, please." The familiar monitor came up and after a few moments, Syn's face appeared. "...Hey Syn."
The girl instantly sighed and sat down on her bed. "I understand, it's okay."
"...I haven't even told you yet."
"I know that voice, I've been in trouble with you plenty of times to know when you're saying something you wish you didn't have to." Vivio made no protest so she went on. "Really, it's okay. We both knew this would happen to one of us, and I... Well, I'm not good with dances anyway, you know? Saves me from embarrassing myself." She gave a playful grin, which made Vivio ease up a little.
"Syn, I just want to say this: Einhart and I may be giving this a try, but it doesn't mean that you're any less important to me. I love you very much, and care for you deeply... Just, not in a romantic way. You're my best friend, and nothing can ever change that."
"Wow, never thought the 'just friends' line would ever actually make me feel better." Syn's light joke made Vivio smile at her. "Hey, I know you probably feel bad about this, but this is still and important time for you... so go get ready okay? The dance is tomorrow night, and I'm sure you have things you need to do."
"Are you okay...?"
"Yes." Syn poked her monitor. "As your friend, I'm telling you to have the time of your life... I was worrying over nothing, you just said I'll always be your best friend, right?"
"Then don't make me embarrass myself for nothing. Have fun at the dance, and tell me all about it when you get back."
"Aren't you going to go?"
Syn grinned. "You know me, I wouldn't be caught dead in a dress. I was going to borrow one of my dad's suits to go in."
Vivio laughed. "That sounds like you. I'll see you later okay Syn?"
"Sure thing." Syn gave a thumbs up and cut off her monitor. Leaning back in her chair, she gave a soft sigh and looked over at the glittering, strapless aqua-blue dress laying on her bed.
"Are you sure this is okay?" Vivio asked nervously, looking over at her aunt Hayate as the base of her nails were pushed back with an instrument she didn't trust at all.
"Sure shooting," Hayate replied back easily, inspecting Vivio's hand and the nails she was working on.
Nanoha laughed and propped her cheek up on her palm to watch her daughter and friend across the table. "Relax, Vivio. Hayate-chan did Fate-chan and mine's make-up ever since we were ten. She's amazing at things like this."
Looking at her aunt, Vivio winced slightly yet again as the cuticles of her nails were pushed. "So why are you ripping my fingernails apart just for fake nails?"
"Because I love you," Hayate replied back in a sugary sweet tone. "You're lucky, it would cost you a week's worth of your allowance to go somewhere to get this done." After inspecting the nails, she got a short strip of something that looked like sandpaper. "Time to buff."
"Why are you buffing my nails if you're going to glue something on top of them?"
Hayate looked over at Nanoha. "You see, if you let me do this for her when she was younger, she wouldn't be so chatty."
Nanoha grinned. "You wanted to use her as a dress-up doll." To the teen's horror, Hayate did not make any effort to deny this fact.
Before she was able to say anything, Vivio wrinkled her nose when a putrid odor came to her. "Ugh, what is that?"
"Glue, just wait until you smell the hardener." Hayate grinned at Vivio as she dabbed a small bit of glue onto her nail before pressing on the fake one. "There, next." A few minutes later and Hayate couldn't help but laugh as Nanoha had to get a fan to blow on Vivio's face to keep her from gagging on the scent of the chemicals used. Once the nails were done, and a French finish was put on them, Vivio looked at her hands proudly. "Anything else?" Hayate asked eagerly. "Want some glitter?"
"Really?" Vivio asked curiously, glancing at her nails. They were noticeably long, but not unattractively so, and looked natural to her. White tips were on the end of each nail, and seemed a little plain to her eyes. "Can you put green glitter on the ends?"
"Coming right up!" Hayate squealed out, reaching into her large kit.
Almost three hours later, Vivio looked in the mirror and almost couldn't believe it was her she was looking at. Her hair was curled, making her normally long hair dance a little below her shoulders. Her nails were perfectly rounded and sparkling with a light that matched her silver necklace and earrings as well. The chosen black dress fit over her body smoothly, shocking her at how she appeared in it. "Wow..."
"You're beautiful," Nanoha breathed out, trying hard to fight back the urge to take even more pictures of her grown up girl. When said daughter shifted, Nanoha reached out and smacked Vivio's hand. "Stop pulling at your underwear!"
"It feels like floss!" Vivio whispered back in a hushed whisper so Hayate couldn't hear them.
"Give it a bit, you'll forget all about them," Nanoha whispered back. "Don't embarrass yourself in front of your date." The words struck home and Vivio stood up straight again, cheeks red. "Okay," Nanoha spoke up again. "Nove is driving Einhart and you to the dance right? Should I pick you two up?"
"No, Nove said she would take us both ways. She has to stay up late for a report anyway so she said it would be a welcomed break from it."
"I see," Nanoha pouted a bit. "Well, remember to enjoy yourself. You don't get many dances, so go all out okay?"
"Mama, you're embarrassing me..." Vivio couldn't help but smile anyway. Before she could say anything else, the doorbell rang, making Vivio go stiff. "That must be her, am I ready? Is my makeup right?"
"You're perfect." Nanoha insisted, handing Vivio her purse. "Just three pictures, I promise, okay?" The doorbell rang again and Vivio nodded, pushing her mother to answer the door. "Good evening, Einhart!" She greeted cheerfully. "My, you look wonderful tonight."
"Thank you, Nanoha-san," The girl replied softly. "I hope I'm not early."
"Not at all, come in." Moving to usher the girl in, Nanoha closed the door and lead her to the living room and Vivio.
The blonde looked at Einhart and felt as if she was looking at a completely new person. A green Chinese style dress covered her body tightly with a long slit on one side to allow her to walk. Two inch heels were on her feet, also matching her dress and paired with an ankle bracelet. The girl's hair was in a single ponytail with braids looking back into it and interlacing down the flowing hair. Her neck was covered by the top of her dress, making her look even more refined that she already was. Finally her earrings were noticed, hanging down and jiggling with each step she took, accented by gold that matched the design on her dress.
Vivio had to try twice to finally give a compliment on her friend's looks. Once they got over the initial shock and awe factor of each other being dressed up, Hayate forced them both together so they could have their picture taken, many more times than the promised three, before Vivio finally managed to get away from her mother and friend. Now outside, they walked to the car and got in, Vivio being complimented simply by Nove.
"Thanks again," Einhart whispered as they were driven to the church for the dance. "Being here right now... makes me really happy."
"Me too..." Vivio agreed with her friend honestly.
Once they were at the church, Vivio carefully got out of the car and helped Einhart out as well. A wave and thanks was given to their driver and soon the two found themselves outside of the church. Looking at the open doors and hearing the music from inside, the two looked at each other and smiled once more.
"Well," Einhart managed out, her breath crystallizing as she spoke. "Shall we?" Offering her hand, she felt a little nervous when Vivio not only accepted it, but interlaced their fingers and pulled her a little closer to show they were together. Upon entering, they looked around the large church ball room and laughed to themselves. "Doesn't look like the church, does it?"
Vivio looked at their school banners hanging, as well as several wall scrolls, posters, and hanging decorations proclaiming the winter festival dance. "I feel like we're at school." The people around them were already scattered apart, showing that they arrived about midway through the flow of people that would come. A live band was on center stage, playing an upbeat, Christmas time song for background music. Vivio smiled lightly and stepped closer to Einhart so their shoulders were touching. "I don't see any of our close friends... I feel like we're all alone here." Her words made her blush and a quick stumble for a recovery made the blonde only embarrass herself more. "I mean, I feel like it's just us here, I mean.... you know what I mean." Looking down, Vivio finally felt the nervousness of her date sink in. 'Oh my god, I'm embarrassing myself, and we just started!'
Einhart felt a little weight come off her shoulders at the sight of Vivio fumbling shyly over her inadvertent flirt. More people were coming in behind them, so she took a step forward, pulling gently on Vivio's hand to get her to follow. "Come on, let's get away from the door before you change your mind." The teasing tone made Vivio lighten up and walk next to her.
"Hey, I won't leave you. We decided on this together... Well, kind of together..." Vivio gave a small laugh and was joined by her friend. "Anyway, we're here to have fun, so let's have fun... What do you normally do at a formal dance anyway? We can't exactly get down in heels."
"Socialize, hang out with friends, you know." Einhart looked away slightly. "Enjoy being with the person you're with."
"Well, I am." Vivio's words made Einhart look back up at her and smile.
The music slowed to a stop and the lead singer of the band stepped to the microphone to address the crowd. "Hello Everyone," The man greeted them energetically. "My name's Raiser with the Fon Filia band, and we'll be your musical entertainment tonight. Let's start off with something you may be a little used to. Enjoy yourselves everybody!" Stepping back a bit, he let his band start playing a slow, soothing song.
One by one, the couples started gathering on the floor for a slow dance. Vivio looked over at Einhart, clearly noticing her fidgeting and longing gaze at the dancing section. 'She waited for this for so long, but she isn't trying to rush me into anything... So much better than the guys who just dragged me to the dance floor in order to grope at me.' Taking the initiative, Vivio stepped in front of Einhart and held her dress up slightly, giving a small curtsy. "A dance, milady?" She teased happily, getting a pleased smile in return.
"Why yes," Einhart answered at once, giggling as the two went to the dance floor together. Once at an open spot, Einhart put her hands on Vivio's hips instinctively, leaving the slightly taller girl to drape her arms around Einhart's neck. "Where did you learn to dance?" The silver-green haired girl asked quietly as they swayed to the music.
"My mamas taught me when I first started going on dates, just in case I needed to. Fate-mama taught me to lead, and Nanoha-mama taught me to follow." Vivio looked down into Einhart's eyes and couldn't help but give a teasing grin. "I never noticed how short you were."
Einhart almost faltered her dancing, cheeks coloring darkly, noticeable even under her makeup. "H-Hey, you're just in heels."
Turning them around happily, Vivio moved with the soft tune while teasing her friend. "You're in heels... mine are flat." The revelation made Einhart look down slightly, staring at Vivio's necklace. "Well, it's okay. I kind of like this."
"Meanie," Einhart protested, glancing back up at the woman who was just a few inches taller. Vivio gave a soft giggle and continued to dance with her, not stopping when the song swapped into another one without hesitating. Their motions changed just a little to adjust to the new song and they began moving again. "You know," Einhart spoke up again after a few moments. "I like you hair curled."
"Really?" Vivio blinked, not expecting a compliment out of the blue like that. "Thank you... yours is really pretty too, but it's weird not seeing your twin tails. Not a bad kind of weird, though. You look... really mature."
"Thank you," Einhart seemed pleased with this. "What made you pierce your ears?" Moving just a little closer, she inspected the emeralds that glittered in the turning dots of light spinning on the floor.
"I..." Vivio hesitated, almost losing her rhythm dancing. "I don't know...I just...kind of wanted..." Einhart looked back at her, smiling shyly at the stammering. "I just wanted to look good for you..."
"Silly," Einhart breathed out a small laugh, clearly happy at the words. The music stopped, leaving everyone on the floor to clap polity for them. The leader spoke again, proclaiming to test their dancing knowledge in the next song before breaking into a waltz.
"Seriously?" Vivio asked, amazed. "Does anyone know how to waltz these days?"
"I do," Einhart revealed while several couples left the floor, leaving only a few left to take the challenge. "Do you?"
"Kind of, not really?" Vivio answered lamely.
"Just follow me," Einhart took Vivio's hands and placed them properly.
"Wha? N-no, Einhart, no!" Her words being ignored, Einhart bounced lightly to show Vivio the beat before moving quickly, taking her along for the ride. "I- I'm going to step on you."
Einhart laughed happily at Vivio's scared look and continued to lead her through the dance, turning and helping her when she almost fumbled. "Just like that, now let's repeat it." Again, she hesitated just long enough to get the beat once more. This time, Vivio followed a little less clumsily and managed to get through it with only one mistake of stepping on Einhart's foot. By the third rotation, the two finally fell in sync with each other and they shared a grin as they moved. When the song ended, several people clapped loudly for the scant few still on the dance floor before another song came to dance to. "You did well," Einhart complimented.
"I looked like an idiot," Vivio replied lamely, taking Einhart's hand and leading her away from the floor so she could collect herself.
"Would you like some punch or anything?"
Vivio beamed at her date. "Yes I would, very much so."
"Just a moment," Einhart squeezed Vivio's hand and trotted off as fast as she could in her heels to fetch the desired beverage.
Sitting, Vivio fanned herself lightly to calm herself down from the dance. "That was amazing," A voice came up, making the blond look up and to the side at a man standing there. "You and your friend really got that one down."
"Ah, thank you," Vivio chuckled shyly. "I messed up plenty of times, though."
"Nah." The man offered his hand. "May I have a dance with you, if your friend doesn't mind?"
"I do mind, actually." Einhart's voice made the two look over to see the girl holding two drinks. "I'm sorry, but Vivio said she was tired and wanted to rest a bit." Offering the drink to Vivio, she smiled at the man. "So would you mind letting her rest please?"
Taking the hint, the man nodded. "Alright, sorry about that." He gave a small wave and went back to his table of friends who seemed to be snickering at him now.
Einhart sat by Vivio at their small table and looked into her punch glass. "I'm sorry about that; I didn't have any right to turn him down for you..."
"Ah, its okay. I didn't know him."
"Yes, but still..." She shifted in her seat lightly. "I... felt a little protective of you... I'm sorry, I'm rushing things."
"N-no, its okay." Vivio blushed and looked down as well. "You were really polite about it and... I didn't mind it like my last date... He was a jerk and got really defensive about the whole ordeal when someone was talking to me. I kind of like how you handled it."
Einhart sipped the drink and nodded. "Even still, I don't want to rush things. This is our first date, and we don't even know where it will go from here."
"So far," Vivio turned to her friend and smiled. "I like it. You respect me, and even though it felt right to you because you've felt this way for a while, you were really polite and even offered him a chance later to dance with me after I rested if I wanted to... That was really sweet of you."
Einhart scratched her cheek with a finger lightly. "Th-thank you..."
Vivio grinned. "Are you getting shy on me again?"
"N-no!" Einhart looked from her cup to Vivio and back again before turning it up and gulping it down. A small hiccup came and she eyed the glass with an odd appreciation.
The blonde held back a giggle and took a sip of the punch before making a face and swallowing thickly. A light cough came and she looked at it in shock. "Wow, they spiked it already? It hasn't been twenty minutes since the dance started!"
"Spiked?" Einhart seemed confused, looking at her empty cup.
"Don't tell me you couldn't taste it?"
The words made Einhart a little nervous. "I-I've never had alcohol before so I don't know what it tastes like..." she eyed Vivio. "Why do you know what it tastes like?"
Vivio waved her hands defensively. "It's not like that! You see, Fate-mama is really fond of rum to drink when she has Signum-san over. One time I asked her for a drink when I was younger, so she fixed me a mix of rum, vodka, and another type of alcohol before putting it in milk for me... I gulped it and promptly threw up moments later... She was leaning against the door frame of the bathroom and asked me what I learned that day."
"And I thought Nanoha-san was the strict one..."
"Fate-mama has a certain few things that she doesn't mess around with."
Einhart felt happy at hearing this new bit of information about Vivio's home life. "Like what?"
"Well... She gets really nervous when I go out on dates. She calls me constantly when she can to make sure I'm alright. Nanoha-mama may be stricter at times, but Fate-mama seems to worry about me the most. I think it's because Nanoha-mama is with me so much more, she trusts me to make my own decisions..."
"I see," Einhart nodded. "They really love you, huh?"
"Very much so," Vivio answered happily. A new song started playing and the blond stood up, offering her hand. "Dance with me?"
Taking the hand, Einhart stood as well and returned the look. "Certainly." Moving to the dance floor, the two began to move to the music once more. "I'm so glad you agreed to come with me."
"Yeah," Vivio couldn't help but feel a little warm by Einhart's soft words. "I'm glad you asked me. I'll have to frame that letter."
"H-hey now..." Moving her head to rest her forehead on Vivio's shoulder, she tried to hide the blush. Vivio shifted, taking the motion the wrong way, and slid her hands around Einhart's neck to pull her close. "Ah...?"
"No?" Vivio asked, confused. Parting slightly, she looked down at her friend's beet red face.
"I...I don't mind... if you don't? I didn't want to... rush things."
Vivio giggled and hugged Einhart close. "Slow dancing isn't rushing things." Her date nodded against her neck and wrapped her hands around Vivio's back, feeling the skin under her palms as she did so. "But," Vivio grinned. "Sliding your hands under my dress is."
"Ah! I'm so sorry!" Einhart tried to pull away but Vivio held her close so she couldn't, laughing contently into her ear
"Hehe, I know you didn't mean to." She felt the hands go around her once more, this time making sure not to go under the loose fabric that showed off Vivio's back. "But expect teasing about this tomorrow."
"Mou..." Einhart felt herself being hugged and she rested her cheek on Vivio's shoulder, trying to forget her slip up. "Why do you tease me so much?"
"Because," Vivio answered simply, moving them to the music that turned into a new song. "Just because." Her hand moved along Einhart's shoulder and traced a finger along the girl's neck.
"That feels nice," The shorter girl spoke softly, voice barely heard over the music.
"Does it?" Vivio mused curiously, finding a small patch of hair on the base of Einhart's neck that managed to escape the ponytail/braid combo. Carefully she twirled it around her finger and felt her friend suddenly hold her tighter, forgetting to keep dancing for a brief moment. "Silly girl," Vivio teased, getting a soft murmer. The hair was twirled again before being freed, only to have the finger trail down the middle of Einhart's neck. "I've never flirted like this before," Vivio voice her worries quietly. "I hope I'm doing it right."
"You are," Einhart pulled back so she could look up at Vivio's face. The two moved around the dance floor in their own little small circle, blushing at each other and sharing small giggles when they would come close to faltering in their motions. "I'm happy," she revealed after a few more songs and taking a break back at their table. "That this isn't awkward."
"Yeah," Vivio agreed contently. "I never thought I'd be dancing with you like that, but it's nice. You smell good."
Einhart couldn't help but laugh. "Nove actually sprayed me with it when I wasn't looking. She said I'd thank her later."
"Nove has perfume?" Vivio looked amazed.
"I know, right?" The two shared another laugh together. "She really surprises me sometimes. It's like she's an older sister, then suddenly becomes like my mother for a moment."
"She's great," Vivio agreed easily. "I'm happy I met her."
"Me too," the other girl agreed. "I wish more of our friends could have come tonight, though. It's a little strange to be friends with people who aren't even in school. It makes times like this a little weird."
"I don't mind," Vivio commented contently. "In a way, I'm kind of glad Rio and Corona are with their grandparents for vacation. It gives us a chance to really enjoy our date."
"Which is slowly coming to an end," Einhart realized after looking around. "Seems like people are starting to split off."
"Seems so..." The blonde checked the clock on her cell phone after retrieving it from her purse. "Oh wow, the dance ends in half an hour."
"Guess we should call her?" Einhart watched Vivio reluctantly nod and make the call. After the short conversation ended, she stood up and smiled at Vivio. "I'm going to ask you this time."
"Don't even need to," Vivio mused, taking Einhart's hand and going back to the dance floor. Instantly, she felt hair at her neck so she rested her cheek against her date's head. Slow shifting was made to the song, and Vivio felt the warm palms glide over her back once more. A gentle rubbing was made before Einhart's hands settled down, making Vivio once again hug her close for a brief moment. "Before it gets embarrassing to say this in front of other people, I really enjoyed this night."
"Same," Einhart's voice whispered into Vivio's ear. "Thank you so much for giving me this chance."
"Hey, we'll have more too, right?" Her words earned her a hug. "I'll take that as a yes."
"Mmn." They stayed together when the singer of the band announced the last song, and kept moving for several moments even after that one ended as well. Finally splitting up, they grinned at each other and reluctantly went back to their table to get their things. "I'm sorry I don't have a coat or anything to offer you," Einhart spoke as they went outside, catching sight of Nove's car almost at once.
"Don't be; I like the cute, shy, girly thing you have going on."
"Don't tease me..." Einhart protested yet again, voice contracting her words. Once they were inside the warm car, they greeted their friend and driver, who promptly took to teasing them on the way home. Once at Vivio's house, Einhart opened the door and helped Vivio out, holding her hand as they went to the front door. "I don't want to sound like a broken record, but thanks again... It was wonderful."
"Very." Vivio agreed, smiling down at her date.
"So..." Einhart blushed, realizing that they were, in fact, standing at the doorstep, at the date's closing.
"So," Vivio agreed, shyly meeting Einhart's eyes.
Each girl gave a shy, nervous laugh before taking a tiny step forward to get closer. "Let's do it again, soon?" Einhart asked quietly while taking Vivio's left hand in hers. A nod came, making the girl shyly look down and bring Vivio's palm to her mouth, where she gave it a tender kiss, eyes looking through the fingers.
Vivio felt her breath catch briefly before grinning at Einhart, moving her hand to take her friend's. "I don't know about the past," Vivio whispered to her teasingly. "But a kiss to the palm these days means loving passion." Her words made Einhart gasp out, eyes wide. "But this once... I think it will be okay." Bringing Einhart's shaking hand to her mouth, Vivio gave her palm a kiss as well. The silver-green haired girl shook slightly, blushing hard at the act. Not done yet, Vivio placed their palms together and interlaced their fingers.
'Passion...' Einhart thought, her vision swimming and heartbeat pounding in her throat. 'Kissing my palm... putting them together... lacing our fingers...' The thought process hit its peak, and Einhart gave Vivio one last frantically embarrassed look before suddenly sagging forward.
"Ein? Einhart!?" Vivio caught the girl and looked down at the now peaceful face of the sleeping girl. "Mou... fainting on me..." Shifting her, she carried the girl back to the car, where Nove was already getting out. "She passed out," Vivio revealed, amusement laced in her voice. "I think it was too much for her."
Nove smirked and opened the passenger door so Vivio could lay her down in the now reclined seat. "Poor thing was building up to it. She was pacing and panicking for the past few days nonstop. I guess your little tease finally made her break."
Vivio took a moment to observe the resting Einhart, an almost unnoticeable smile still on the girl's lips. "Tell her I said goodnight for me?"
"After I tease her," Nove promised.
"Thanks for the ride." Vivio closed the car door carefully and hugged her friend. "See you at practice day after tomorrow."
"You bet!" Nove called while getting back in the car.
Now alone, Vivio went back to her house and let herself in, shocked to see the living room television on. Walking over to it, she saw Nanoha laying on the couch smiling up at her. "Mama?"
"I wanted to make sure you got home okay," Nanoha told her simply. "You're practically glowing, was the date good?"
Vivio clasped her hands behind her back and nodded happily. "Mmn! It was the best!"