Moka arrived at the newspaper club room smiling with a can of tomato juice in hand. "Tsukune, I'm sorry I'm late! I just had to stop to get a snack."
"Tsukune's not here. Desu." Yukari said.
"He's not?" Moka sounded surprised. "But he said he was coming straight here after he took care of a small errand."
Mizore popped her head out of the supply closet. "Have you noticed that Kurumu's not here either?"
Moka looked about with a frown. "You don't suppose…"
"That big breasted pervert has probably kidnapped Tsukune! Desu!" Yukari pumped an angry fist into the air.
Moka sighed. "I guess we'll just have to track them down and make sure they're all right."
"And where do you think you're going?" Gin asked pointedly. "This week's edition is already running behind."
"No buts," Gin said sternly. "Tsukune's a big boy, I'm sure he's fine. Now let's get to work. I mean what sort of trouble could he possibly get in if he's with Kurumu?"
Ageha was in her luxury penthouse suite getting to ready to head out for a night of partying on the Vegas strip when the doorbell rang. She went to answer it curious as to which of her many admirers had come by to see her. When she opened the door she was very surprised to find her daughter standing there, shoulders slumped and looking weary. Standing beside her was Destined One Aono Tsukune. He was looking at Kurumu with affection and adoration.
Before Ageha could even ask what her daughter was doing there Tsukune spoke first.
"I love you Kurumu!"
Ageha was surprised by her daughter's reaction. She would have expected her to cry out joyously that she felt the same. Instead Kurumu gave a weary nod and a half hearted smile. "I know Tsukune."
"I really, really love you Kurumu!"
"I love you so much I can't think of anything else!"
"I love you! I love you! I love you!"
"I know Tsukune."
Hearing the absolute devotion in his voice and the way he was pleading for her attention Ageha frowned. "Kurumu you didn't!"
Her daughter's shoulders slumped even more.
"I love you Kurumu! I really do!"
"Mom can we come in?"
Tsukune was in the master bedroom. He hadn't wanted to part from Kurumu's side but she had finally convinced him it would be okay. She was sitting on a couch in the living room beside an unhappy looking Ageha.
"You broke the special rule didn't you?" Ageha asked not really needing to hear the answer.
"I didn't mean to," Kurumu mumbled guiltily.
"Oh? You didn't mean to charm him? You didn't deliberately charm your Destined One?"
Kurumu flinched at her mother's accusing tone. "I… I just wanted to hear him say that he loved me," she answered in a small voice. "I've been trying to win him over for so long, but it seems no matter what I do I can't draw any closer to him."
Seeing her daughter so remorseful Ageha gave a long sigh. She needed to remind herself that her daughter was still only 17, and an innocent 17 at that.
"Kurumu dear," she spoke with more understanding and more sympathy than she'd intended. "I know it must be frustrating to have found your Destined One and to not receive the affection from him that you crave. However," her voice picked up a stern note. "There is a reason we have that special rule, once you have chosen your Destined One you are NEVER to use your charm powers on him. Every other male out there in existence is fair game, but not him."
"I know momma!"
"Do you?" Ageha asked driving the lesson home. "You said you did it to hear him say he loved you. Well how did it feel?"
"The first time he said it I cried for joy," Kurumu said. "The second time he said it still made me happy, so did the third and the fourth and the fifth. After twenty it started to not make me happy anymore. After a hundred I really wanted him to stop. After two hundred I knew I had to come here to get help."
"You overused your charm and you can't turn it off can you?"
Her daughter nodded glumly.
"Kurumu-chan, I know the situation with your Destined One is frustrating, but honestly I thought I taught you better."
"Why is it so wrong though?! Growing up you taught me that men were only there to give us things and make us happy!"
"Except for your Destined One! He's the exception to that because he is the one who is supposed to share your life, give you children, and be your trusted soul mate. Kurumu dear I hear, 'I love you' all the time from the various men in my life. I don't need to resort to charming them either, my endearing personality and these puppies," she pats her G size breasts. "Are enough to do the trick. I just take their words as a compliment and nothing more. When your father said them to me they made my heart beat faster. That is the difference between lust and love. The rule exists because if you take away your partner's ability to decide for himself he can't really love you! You reduce him to your play thing. Believe me honey I know it can be tempting sometimes, but it's because we love them that we have that special rule."
"I know momma," Kurumu said faintly. "I won't ever do it again. Can you please help me though? Even if he isn't ever going to say it to me I want the old Tsukune back!"
Ageha nodded and stood up. "Of course dear, it'll just take a little time." She tossed her daughter an amused grin. "While I'm at it how about I also take the opportunity to use my body to teach him the ways of love between and man and a woman?"
"Just kidding…. maybe."
A nervous Kurumu watched as she went into the master bedroom and shut the door behind her.
After about an hour the door finally opened again and out stepped a nervous looking Tsukune. He did not look at her as if he worshipped the ground she walked on and he did not start confessing his love every thirty seconds. Instead he rubbed the back of his head and looked at her with a bit of embarrassment.
"Hey Kurumu," he said.
Ageha came out of the bedroom and looked on silently as her daughter lowered her eyes and seemed to shrink.
"Hi Tsukune," she answered in a tiny voice. "I'm sorry for what I did. I promise to never do it again."
"It's okay Kurumu."
"No it's not," she answered still looking at his feet. "It was selfish of me and wrong. I know all I ever do is bother you Tsukune. I know you don't return any of my feelings, but I still had no right to do that to you and I'm truly sorry."
"I'll leave you alone from now on. I won't try to smother you every time I see you and I won't force myself on you anymore. I'll just keep my distance from now on since I'm sure that's what you prefer."
"We should get back to the school now. Lord knows Moka and the others are probably already suspicious and looking for us. I'm sure you want to get back to t hem and away from me as soon as possible."
She started to leave without ever looking at his face. She made it half way to the door when she felt him grab her by the wrist and twirl her about. She let out a surprised gasp as he put his arms around her and pulled her into a tight embrace. He was holding her tightly within his strong arms, holding her close against his warm body.
He never did this! She was always the one forced to chase after him. She was always the one hugging him. He never initiated things. Doing so now of all places startled her.
It also made her feel amazingly happy.
"I love you," he said simply.
"Wha… what?" She looked up into his face. He didn't seem charmed any more.
"I'm not charmed Kurumu-chan," he assured her with a gentle smile. "I've felt that way about you for a long time. I'm sorry I haven't said it before. I'm sorry I've been taking you for granted. You're a beautiful wonderful girl and you've always been there for me whenever I've needed you. I love you."
He placed a gentle kiss on her lips.
Let me die right now, she thought. There's no way I could ever be happier than I am at this moment. Her heart was racing and she thought she was going to melt.
She was trembling against him and rested her head on his shoulder when the kiss ended.
"What about Moka?" She asked.
"I love her too," Tsukune said simply. "Just as I love Mizore and Yukari and Ruby too. Those are my honest feelings. You have all been there when I needed and I care about all of you."
"But you love me the most right?"
"Never mind! Never mind! You said what I've been dying to hear and that's enough for me. It's enough to know you love me." Anyway I'm sure you love me the most.
"Here Tsukune take this." Ageha slipped him one of her credit cards. "Since you two are in Las Vegas why not take advantage of the opportunity and have a date?"
"Mother I'm sure he doesn't…"
"Actually that sounds like fun. What do you say Kurumu-chan?"
"Re… really?! We can have a date?!"
He nodded and gave her another short tender kiss. "Yeah Kurumu, its way past time we had one. So what do you say?"
"Yahoo! Let's go!"
On the elevator ride down he looked at her and spoke confidentially. "Oh there's one other thing I've been meaning to tell you and now seems like a good time."
"Well… don't say anything to Moka or the others but I actually love when you shove my face into your breasts. It's one of the highlights of my day."
"Hah! I knew it!"