Disclaimer: Nothing is mine, and while I personally believe Ronove is as straight as a rainbow, this oneshot came from a challenge on LiveJournal, and I expanded on it for the heck of it, as I did have fun writing something different.

Virgilia couldn't help but smile as she observed her student arguing with Battler over how roses grew--whether they grew by little pixies spreading fairy dust, or by seeds being planted and then rained upon. It was really Beatrice's fault--she herself had casually brought up how the pixies were responsible for the beauty of the roses in the garden of Kuwadorian.

Virgilia supposed she must have done it on purpose. She seemed to really enjoy getting a row out of Battler. It was the gender role reversal of a little boy pulling a girl's pigtails to show how much he liked her.

"Wouldn't it be nice to be young and in love," muttered Virgilia, taking a sip of her tea. She couldn't help but feel a twinge of envy at her student, however wrong it may be. She currently held those kind of feelings for another man...a man whom she wasn't entirely sure would be capable of reciprocating them...

"Brewing up some tea for Lia?"

Ronove stood in the kitchen just above the stove with Gaap peeking over his shoulder. It would be a few minutes yet before the tea was ready; the kettle was whistling very low.

"Indeed," nodded Ronove. "I am brewing up a spot of black tea for the ladies of this household—possibly Battler-san as well, if he behaves himself around milady—or vice versa, pukuku."

"Maybe Riiche would also like some of your cookies," suggested Gaap. "You know how much she loves those."

"Ah, but the last time I made some for her," said Ronove with a smile, "she chose to provoke Battler-san into a fight over what happened on Valentine's Day."

"Oh yes, I don't think we can ever forget that," sighed Gaap. She paused. She was not sure if Virgilia would appreciate her bringing up such a subject, but...

"Rono," said Gaap, "how do you truly feel about Lia?"

"She is a most honourable lady," was Ronove's reply. "I should hope Lady Beatrice eventually follows her example."

"And that's it?" said Gaap. "You don't have any...romantic feelings for her, or anything like that?"

Ronove lightly chuckled, "Oh, I suppose Lady Virgilia is an attractive woman, and any man should consider himself lucky to be in her presence, but, well...you know my personal preferences."

"Yes, I know, but you never know," sighed Gaap, wandering around the kitchen. "It never hurts to experiment. I mean, how do you know what you feel for Lia is just admiration? How do you know you don't have preferences for both chocolate and vanilla, hmm?"

The kettle was hissing furiously. Ronove turned the stove off. Gaap smiled and said, "As much as I tease Lia, I do want her to be happy. And between you and me, I think she has a bit of a thing for you. You are cute, after all."

And with that, she disappeared in a black hole. Ronove stroked his chin and mused, "So...Lady Virgilia holds something of an infatuation towards me..."

He thought back to all the times they shared...discussing how to deal with Beatrice when she misbehaved...having rare moments of peace and quiet to themselves...the way Virgilia would smile at something witty he had to say...the way her silver hair flowed down her shoulders...

"I suppose it wouldn't hurt to see if there is something there, pukuku," muttered Ronove, going over to check on the tea to see if it was ready.

"...ah! It's useless! It's all useless!"

Beato cackled evilly as she disappeared in a flock of golden butterflies. Battler just stood out in the garden and sulked.

Virgilia chuckled—her student had gotten the best of Battler once again. At times, she pitied the boy. Putting up with someone like Beato was no easy feat; she could attest to that from personal experience. If she hadn't had Ronove by her side, how would she have survived all those years?

If she hadn't had Ronove by her side at all...

"More tea?"

Virgilia turned to the sound of Ronove's voice. She looked into those twinkling blue eyes and the smile behind that moustache. She usually did not like the look of moustaches on a man, but on Ronove, it made him look particularly handsome.

"You are looking most lonely, Lady Virgilia," said Ronove. He took one look at the sulking Battler and the cackling Beato up ahead and smiled. "Ah, to be young and in love...that would be a tremendous gift within itself, pukuku."

"Yes, it would," said Virgilia wistfully. "Especially with..."

She caught herself just in time. "I apologize for prying," said Ronove, "but whose name were you about to speak?"

Virgilia's face flushed and she turned away. How could she have been so stupid to think for even a second that Ronove...?

She gasped when she felt something light and soft brush her cheek, as soft as a rose petal falling down her face. She turned to Ronove, who had now leaned in much closer. He smiled and tilted her chin up towards his, then leaned in and kissed her right on the lips.

It did not last long--only for about five seconds--but to Virgilia, to finally have these feelings she held reciprocated, those five seconds were the most precious five seconds of her life. When Ronove parted with a smile, he said, "Now, about the tea?"

Virgilia smiled back. "Yes," she said. "I think I would like very much to have more tea."