A/N: I had been presented with a challenge a while back, and I finally decided to concede and give it a try. I now have to write a fiction with a Natsuki/Yukino Pairing for the Otome universe. Needless to say, this is my attempt at it.

I do now own Mai Otome.


Chapter 1: Welcoming Speech.

"Love, Law, Loyalty…those are the three L's. Anything an Otome does falls under one of the three categories." Natsuki Kruger stood at the podium speaking to the new arrivals.

A new school year had begun, and, as a result she found herself giving the normal spiel that was tiring and yet important. Some other of her staff, as well as visiting Otome, made sure to attend as examples for the young teens to follow. A motley bunch sat on stage, all of them having served for years, seeing battle and peace alike. Among some of the most notorious sat on one side, while a few lesser heard names sat on the other. A few retired Otome sat on stage also. They had spoken previously of their life after having served.

Natsuki cleared her throat and continued. "In order to understand the three words fully one must take a look at the soul of what makes an Otome. The human herself and, the items used to give her that power." She gestured to those on the stage, most of the women showing nothing but professionalism.

"As an Otome, a woman must have a strong resolve; have a level of intelligence, and kindness. Although, that is a mere generalization at the best of times and a poorly constructed alibi others. Recruitment is a slow rigorous process. Some women, mostly in the case of nobility, attend Garderobe Academy primarily to help polish their womanly attributes while simultaneously building a good moral fiber. They do so in hopes that they may find their way into adulthood with the proper means to find a leadership role." At this, the spotlight fell on a few of the older students, who may not have graduated, but, they had become proper figures none the less.

When the spotlight fell from those who had not graduated, or had retired long ago, those on stage took the time to speak a few words.

"An Otome is one who holds great responsibility. It is surely a daunting task, and one I request you think clearly about before making a decision." Shizuru was always the one most eloquent in her speech; however she also failed to really show the true nature of the task. However, that was what made her a very good example of an Otome, elegant and near perfection even in the worst of conditions.

"An Otome better have Guts! We got to keep the peace, only way to do that is to kick butt and take names!" Haruka bellowed. She was an acceptation to every Otome rule known to man. She was a powerhouse, but, anything resembling perfection, elegance, or womanly attributes were lost at the expense of her brute strength and her will to uphold the law. A fine Otome in her own right, she just didn't fit the mold. For some students, she was the best possible role model.

"Don't listen to that crap." Nao, the dark horse and one of the Five Pillars had decent morals; however she went about things in a slightly crass way. She did her job, but rules, in her mind, were made to be broken, thrown into the trash, and spat on. "Our job is to be Otome, simply that and nothing more. For all of you it will be something different."

"You little ingrade..." Haruka huffed and the other Otome, and a girl with spiky hair in the audience gave Natsuki a pleading look and she cleared her throat to gain attention.

"As you can see…" She paused; couldn't Haruka and Nao behave for just a few moments? She guessed not. "Those are merely generalizations. Let's move on and look at the mechanics behind our power. Otome can only use their powers with the use of a few devices. Two of the most important ones are a GEM and nanomachines. Of the two, the nanomachines are the ones that prove to be most important. They are a powerful tool and one that is easily lost." At that she gestured to a woman standing on the side, her lab coat donned as usual.

"I would like to introduce the Chief Medical Officer and Director of the Science Department, Helene Yohko. She will give the briefing regarding Otome equipment." As Natsuki left the podium standing next to Nao and Haruka she turned off her microphone before heatedly whispering at them indignantly. The words 'meant' 'ingrate' and 'idiot' were the only ones loud enough to reach the front of the stage. Shizuru was quickly on the case of calming down the two Otome.

Meanwhile Yohko used the time to speak to the large group of candidates. She really wasn't meant to be speaking at this current moment, but, she knew she would need to provide cover for now. Why did Nao have to be so vulgar? Not that Haruka or Natsuki were any better with their bad temperaments.

"An Otome uses many things to keep them in strong fighting condition. As headmaster Natsuki said before, nanomachines are one of the two major building blocks. They are what enable you to have the ability to use a robe. Even if you own a GEM, you will be unable to use power without nanomachines. Likewise, nanomachines need a GEM to even become active in the first place."

"There are adverse effects nanomachines seem to have when first injected. Most last a good while each injection until the human body adjusts. Among the many kinds, extreme fever, vomiting, and typically any other flu type symptoms are most common. There will be a large number of candidates who will find that they cannot tolerate the nanomachines. Some girls have experienced other health issues if the fever becomes too high. In rare cases death has resulted, although that is only in the most rare and extreme of cases." As she spoke she was getting her pamphlet open behind the podium.

Her words weren't as orderly as she would have liked, but for improvising she was doing alright. "All of you were given a starter kit when you enrolled in this academy, and, while we hoped you at least looked at it, I didn't really expect anyone to retain the information. Please, now pull out the smallest pamphlet. It is named 'Nanomachines in the Body" locate it now."

As the crowd of new students did this, she waited momentarily. When most had it in their laps, or were looking at the one a person next to them had, she continued to speak. "Nanomachines are very delicate, and as such, you will need to be mindful of what it will take to upkeep such a small and refined system. First of all, because of their slight healing properties, they will aid you even after battle. During battle, they are the embodiment of the robe itself."

Then she held up the pamphlet in front of her. "On page three the most critical information should be studied closely. As you can see, the nanomachines are weakened by the human body. You will have to get yearly injections and take vitamins daily to keep them functioning properly. Also, nanomachines cannot stand up to the harsh conditions of Prostate-specific antigen, also called PSA. When you come into contact with it in large quantities, you will find your nanomachines to become useless. Thus, Otome may not engage in sexual situations with others. There will be a seminar later this week to speak of nanomachines and the care they take. Please be sure to be there."

From there Yohko gave the floor back to Natsuki and excused herself. Natsuki, picked up from where Yohko left off. "This leads us back to the three L's. It is one of the first things you learn. Love being the first of the three." She paused giving a slight blush, an inward grumble donning her features. She hated talking about this.

"As an Otome you must not bed down with anyone. This means you either seek other means of fulfillment, or, you find a woman much like yourself to share in such burdens. Even if you are in love, that love cannot come first in your life, unless it is love for the master you serve. Your master is your world; their word is your calling and your main reason for living." She spared a moment to look at Yohko wondering why she didn't speak on the newest research found, but figured it would be covered in the eight hour tutorial later that week.

Growing tired, Natsuki moved forward with her explanation. "This leads to the second category, Law. It is what we uphold, abide by, and in the end it is what makes us strong. An Otome is kind, gracious, and womanly. They are perfect in even the most trying times. We are often maids who serve tea and clean house. We are a woman seen and not heard unless spoken too, and, finally, we are weapons of mass destruction capable of devastating entire nations with raw power. If an Otome serves a master she must do as she was commanded, regardless of how she feels. This is why we have the last L.

"Loyalty…" She paused remembering well of how important the final L was. "An Otome meets many people in her time of being a student and serving a nation. When she serves a master, anything she may have cared about must be placed on a side burner. Anything she may have wanted must wait. Her master is the one who she must please. She must do as she is ordered, even if the cost is destroying her own homeland, or even her own family. In the event of war, Otome must fight and kill each other if that is what their master wishes. It is a task that drives many to insanity. Most are unable to carry out the responsibilities required of them."

She looked out into the mass of students. It was much smaller than many other groups of past years. Most who wanted to be an Otome in this day and age would find that it wouldn't be possible. Otome were going to slowly eradicated from existence as long as Natsuki had her wish on the entire situation. Many agreed it was for the best, and yet, there was something about Otome that made them figures of importance. They were figures that needed to be around; at the very least the name Otome shouldn't be lost just because powers had been lost.

With the new law in effect this would be the last class of Otome that would learn combat with a robe. After that, Otome would be trained in combat dealing with normal military weaponry, and slowly and surely they would whittle down the number of people who used nanomachines as a way of combat. The desired outcome would be maids who could fight and defend the people they served, but, they would be very much mortals, easily killed if someone wished it.

Otome were meant to serve others, surely they could do that without combat, and even so, Otome meant only one thing. Power.

"I'd like to conclude the introductory to Garderobe by saying that I wish you all the best of luck. Today the Otome that stand before you will welcome you into the walls that we, as Otome, once called home as students. Any of you have the potential to become our younger sisters, as a result, I do hope you will use the rest of the day to ask questions, meet your fellow sisters, as well as your future classmates. Even if you are unable to attend Garderobe, you have all passed the test scores to attend the finest female prep school, your admission into our sister school is guaranteed."

As the group of students dispersed, Haruka went to Yukino almost immediately. Natsuki followed suit. This was a new plan this year, it would be the first time that Natsuki, and other Otome would oversee a school that was even more difficult than Garderobe could ever be. The initial plan was that if girls wanted to have Otome standing without Otome power they would need to work twice as hard, that was why a new idea had been brought into play.

"Madam President." Natsuki bowed in respect. "I am thrilled you could visit on such an important day."

"I'm glad to have come, but please, no formalities. You and I know each other far too well, and, I see no need for formalities when there isn't a political meeting." The president of Aries was a small woman with short brown hair, slightly messy and far less sophisticated than the rest of her ensemble. With a pink suit and a long white coat lavished in golden colored patters, it was clear she was a woman of authority. She always had been, despite her slightly mousy appearance.

"I'm sorry Yukino. I'm just a bit worried." Looking around at the students and fellow full fledged Otome; this would be a difficult to say the least. "I must admit, Queen Mashiro seemed adamant that Midori join our cause. I think I see why." She paused taking in the sights of the campus. The teens were following many Otome around, Shizuru and Nao being quite popular. It wasn't long before Haruka was being tailed by a small girl that seemed to be very interested in her, thus the blond went off to act as a big sister should.

"Midori wasn't an Otome, and yet she stood up the fights with you well enough." Yukino agreed remembering a great many confrontations. "So, I hear that there may be a way to actually limit an Otome's power? How would this work exactly?"

"Well, I'm not exactly the smartest person around here and I am not part of the departments regarding that." Natsuki warned as she watched Midori, she noted the others by the woman, all cybernetic, or still finding the proper treatment methods for her people. "We are helping them develop a cure for their illnesses; ironically we found a new enzyme. The illness they have prevents them from using Otome power from a GEM, however, those circular devices you see Midori wear allow her some amount of power with a time limit. We want to see if it's possible to convert part of the disease into the nanomachines we use now, thus robes can't be utilized, but healing abilities and over all human modification will allow Otome the power needed."

"It sounds complicated." Yukino nodded, she had been wondering about that for a while. It seemed to be a bad idea to rid Otome forever; Earth had failed once long ago without power, that was why they lived on this planet. There was no doubt that power of Otome was still in high demand. "In any case, I'm not worried. We are under a ten year trial period. Should we actually need the power of Otome before the end of that period we will have enough of them to go around."

"That is true…" Natsuki trailed off, not wanting to admit she was starting to become ready to throw in the towel. She wanted a real relationship and a life without all of the Otome nonsense. "However, there is also something Yohko hasn't said yet. As of right now, our nanomachines can deal with the substances found within a woman's body fairly easily; however, we too have a level of PSA in our systems. As of right now, the level is too low to actually do us any harm, however that won't be the case if we place the illness into the nanomachines. That's what we are having trouble with."

"I don't follow; I thought only men were the issue." Yukino thought for a moment, she wasn't an idiot by any means, but she was lost by the admission of the PSA counts. "If they were an issue before, and an Otome had any trace of it within their systems, then I assumed it would cause them to lose their power."

"Well, you have it half right." Yohko came up from behind the two of them. "I believe the reason is because in men the concentration is quite high. Nanomachines wouldn't be able to break it down; at least that's what I think. Low concentrations of PSA have been identified in the urethral glands, normal breast tissue, and salivary gland tissue. In theory, the nanomachines can bypass smaller dosages of the substance."

"See? This is why I stay out of it." Natsuki sighed with confusion. "I am an old Otome; you can't teach me new tricks anymore. Anyway I better make sure Haruka isn't trying to get into a dance battle with Shizuru, they both still had robes on." The blue haired headmaster walked off with quick strides. She searched the campus and found nothing, so instead looked in the dorms. There she found a few of the Otome reliving their youth in one of the five common rooms. Taking a sigh of relief she joined them.

Shizuru was off to the side, just as she always would be in that situation. Haruka was in the middle of the room acting as god's gift to the universe, and Natsuki found her place on the far corner, where the old video game system still found its home after all these years. Many hours she found herself goofing off as a child instead of working, but, she had Shizuru and Haruka to contend with so for her it wasn't an issue, they dragged her along in her studies.

Chie was minding her own business on the sofa near the wall, her favorite place to be as a student, while Arika waged a verbal debate with Mashiro for whatever reason. Three generations of Otome all in one room, and none seemed to want to deal with each other at the moment. It was most likely that they were hiding for the time being, probably for the best. Finally, after the third screen ended and Natsuki had lost all of her points in the game, Shizuru found her way over to her long time companion.

"You disappeared after the welcoming speech. I take it you didn't want to play along with the possible little sisters?" Shizuru laughed lightly, her accent marking a clear difference between her and the others in the room. "Where did Natsuki go off too?"

"I was talking to Yukino." Her words came out curtly as she returned with her video game. That was just Natsuki's way. She could multitask well by this point, and although she was shooting up bad guys, she continued to talk. "I'll have to deal with each guest personally later. Why do it now?"

"I guess I can see that." The nod was unseen, just as the slight smile had been. "Are you going to tell her about wanting to resign your position?" Shizuru loved being an Otome as much as she loved Natsuki, however it was a one sided love. Natsuki never returned her feelings of love, but, they both had remained good friends. Close was an understatement. Natsuki was never one to find attraction in anyone or anything until Haruka came into contact with Yukino.

"Why should I? It may not be this year, or the next. I'm only considering it." The scowl was evident, but, the reasons weren't for what most people would assume it was. Natsuki and Shizuru were very open with each other. "Besides, last thing Yukino needs right now is me. She has just won the election that will put her in the clear for a few more years, she'll be busy, and so will we. Especially with the work in the two schools."

"There you go again." Light tones held a bit of mischief. "You want to quit, but, you don't want to quit. You have a crush for Yukino, but, you don't want to tell her. Natsuki, what do you really want? To be an Otome? To be a headmaster? Yukino? What is it, because you're driving me bonkers with your constant back and forth with all of it."

"Sorry Shizuru." A light blush on her cheeks made it clear that it wasn't a comfortable subject. It never had been, and it most likely never would be. She looked away from the screen to make eye contact, silently begging to change the topic. "I just don't know." As she looked back to the monitor she saw a familiar loading screen, she had lost again. "Damn it!" As she turned off the game rather rudely she huffed a bit. "You know me."

"I know you." Shizuru nodded. "You'll let fate decide for you. Just don't be angry when fate decides to cause trouble like last time." She smirked as she walked away. She had people to meet and greet, she wouldn't be able to do that in the common room, and so, off she went once again.

"Fate…once a pain, always a pain…but, I just can't say any clear answer…" She sighed and leaned on the wall whispering into the air again. "Sorry Shizuru…for always driving you nuts." Natsuki could only smirk, thinking of the response that she would have gotten. 'That's my Natsuki. She's always been such an insatiable person.'

"isn't that the damn truth." Natsuki scowled.

TBC~~~


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