Blood That Flows
Disclaimer: I own nothing, nothing at all.
It was a tense stand-off, or rather, it would have been tense if a redheaded woman with mis-matching eyes holding off a blonde-haired, red-eyed girl with an axe with a dagger in one hand and a redheaded wolf girl with her other hand wasn't so preposterous that it bordered on hilarious.
"Now, are we going to be a good little girl and calm down and talk, or am I going to have to teach you a lesson about fighting your betters?" Lina Takamachi grinned at Fate, who flew backwards, a magic circle appeared under her as she charged up several magic attacks.
"Mother!" Nanoha called out as Lina let go of Arf before kicking her away.
"Nanoha, be a dear and keep that mutt out of this." Lina turned away from them as she focused on Fate. "Well then, how about we have a nice little... Bomb Di Wind!"
Fate's eyes widened as a MASSIVE hurricane force wind crashed into her body with enough force to send her flying, literally, hundreds of feet away, even with her barrier up, she couldn't keep herself from being blown back from the force.
Lina sighed. She didn't need to use the names for the attacks anymore, not since that fight all those years ago. 'Lady, are you really so fickle?' She twitched as her left eye throbbed softly. 'I guess you are.'
"Fate!" Arf yelled from her position under pink and green binds. "Let me go!" Arf growled at Yuuno and Nanoha, both of whom where rather stunned from that one attack.
"Stop your worrying." Lina rolled her eyes at the wolf girl. "She'll be fine, maybe a little shaken up and she might need a change of underwear, but she's just fine." Lina then tapped her chin in thought. "Well, unless she crashes through a few trees, ends up tangled in vines and finally crashes into a bee hive."
"What?" Lina looked at the three children looking at her as if she was crazy. "Have you never had to deal with bee stings when those guys are pissed?" She shuddered at the memories. "Not as bad as the time my sister left me out in the rain covered in slugs, but still pretty bad." She jumped away as several lightning strikes hit where she had been moments before. "Huh, looks like she recovered pretty fast." Lina looked up to see a panting Fate looking down at her. Shaking her head, Lina wondered if it was in her blood to have her family attacked by people who were crazy.
Fate wasn't surprised as the woman flew up to look her in the eyes. "I won't let..."
"Let what? Let me get away with attacking you? Let me interfere with you attacking my daughter?" Lina raised an eyebrow as a sphere of fire appeared in the palm of her hand. "Or let me win?"
Fate flew back as the fireball was tossed at her at high speed. She blinked as the woman smirked at her before looking up and gasping as the fireball twist and turn in mid air before coming back down at her. Throwing her shield up, she grunted as it crashed with impressive force, the explosion, heat and power that happened from that was just as impressive. Miraculously, her barrier held and left her winded from the effort. "I...Impossible."
"I suggest that you stop." She turned to look at the woman, who was holding two more spheres of deadly fire in her hands. "If I was sixteen, you'd have a very good chance, heck, you might be able to beat me with some luck, but," Lina disappeared and reappeared in front of Fate, her knife at the blonde girl's neck, "I've gotten more experience since then, and due to certain events, kiddo, there's not much you can do."
Fate gulped slightly, before blinking as the woman smiled at her and put her dagger away. "...What?"
"What's going to happen is that we're going to set down, go back to the hotel where we're staying and talk about everything."
Something about the way her eyes glinted and the grin on her face had Fate nodding in haste as the two of them floated to the ground.
"FATE!" Arf yelled as the binds were released. She ran to the little blonde and hugged her before glaring at Lina. "You..."
"Shut up." Lina scoffed at the familiar. "Nanoha, honey..."
Lina smiled at her and the ferret. "I hope you two learned something from that, I'm going to train the hell out of you in magic after this."
The way they gulped was music to her ears.
Shiro looked up as he saw his wife, his daughter, the ferret, a blonde girl and a redheaded young woman all walk into the room. "Welcome back, Lina, Nanoha, Yuuno. And who are these two lovely ladies?"
Despite the weirdness of the situation, Nanoha giggled as both Fate and Arf spluttered at the question.
"Meet Fate Testarossa and her familiar Arf. Why are you still up, dear?" Lina sighed as he shrugged at her question.
"Hard to sleep when two of the three most important women in my life aren't nearby. Now..." Shiro smiled as he placed several cups of warm tea around the table. "Why don't we sit down and enjoy some tea?"
After the small group sat around the table, though Lina made sure to sit near Fate and Arf, everything descended into quiet for a bit, before Lina cleared her throat. "One thing that's been bothering me... Yuuno..."
"Yes?" The ferret blinked at her as she smiled at him.
"You're not a Mazoku are you?"
"A... What?" Yuuno blinked as Lina sighed softly.
"Never mind." She shook her head and looked at Fate, who was looking down at her lap quietly. "Now, Fate, tell me just why you and my daughter are fighting."
Fate looked at her surprised. "Hasn't she told you?"
Lina took a sip of her tea before answering that. "Well, I guess it's over these magical trinkets that are floating around, but I'd like to hear your side of things." Lina had lost count over how many fights had happened simply because both sides didn't have all information on hand. Lina knew, however, that there was always a time and place to with-hold information from people. A small fight between two magic users wasn't one of those times.
Fate looked down and sighed softly, how could she just tell them everything? They wouldn't understand, she needed them. As soon as she got them for her mother, everything would be perfect, she'd stop being mad all the time, she'd go back to the way things were.
"Alright, if you don't want to talk, then I guess I'll have to make some guesses here." Lina cleared her throat for a moment. "Feel free to tell me if I'm right or wrong here. You, Fate Testarossa, are gathering the Jewel Seeds, not for yourself, but for someone else. Why? You don't know, you were never told, you just know that they're important and are doing it for that person, likely someone you look up to and adore, likely a family member that's close to you. However, recently, things have changed and something bad happened, even so, you're still trying your hardest to set things right with this person. Since I'm not feeling any anger from you, I'm guessing that you still care a lot for them." Lina let out a breath she didn't know she had. "Well? Am I right?"
"...How..?" Fate asked softly, her eyes wide as she looked at the woman, who fell over in shock.
"Wagh! I was just joking! I never expected to be right!" She sighed and shook her head. "Really, I was just comparing your situation to the situation of an old friend of mine. His grandfather, or was it great-grandfather?" She shrugged, it wasn't important. "Did something pretty bad to him, mutating his body into something far different than it was before. However, even so, the guy still loved his grandfather. It wasn't until he found out that it was an experiment for his grandfather to regain the usage of his eyes that my friend got upset. Heck, before that, he had gone so far as to track down a powerful magical artifact for his grandfather before turning on him." Lina stopped for a moment. "Then again, it's been a long time, my memories of it are a little fuzzy." She giggled and stuck her tongue out.
"...Now I see where you get your silliness from, Nanoha." Yuuno spoke to Nanoha telepathically as he sweat-dropped.
"Anyway..." Shiro spoke up, catching Fate and Arf's attention. "I can imagine that while you want these..."
"Jewel Seeds, dad." Nanoha supplied for him, causing him to smile at her.
"Jewel Seeds, I can imagine that they aren't safe. After all, if you're willing to hurt Nanoha for them, they must be of some value." Seeing the blonde fidget slightly, he shook his head. "Are you worried that we'll punish you?"
Fate flinched slightly, it was barely noticeable, Nanoha and Yuuno didn't catch it, Arf almost missed it, but to Shiro and Lina, both of whom had a lifetime of reading body language, that said a lot.
"We won't harm you, Miss Testarossa." Shiro smiled at her softly. "My wife here has stated that if you want to fight Nanoha for these things, that's fine, but..." He looked at Lina, who shook her head and chuckled slightly.
"As far as I can tell, these things are pretty dangerous, right?" Seeing Yuuno nod, she smirked at the children. "Well then, from now on, the two of you are forbidden to fight." Seeing the stunned looks on all of the children's faces, Lina leaned back against her chair slightly. "Let me explain something to you children. These things are dangerous, you want them badly, that's fine, but if they're as unstable as I've been feeling then I don't want you fighting over them until they're all sealed up." She then smirked in a way that had Fate and Nanoha flinching for some unknown reason. "After all, I'd rather not wake up one morning and find out that something like a Dragon Slave went off in the middle of the city, reducing it to rubble and killing millions of people who were asleep."
Lina sighed as she saw the looks of confusion on the children's faces. "Dragon Slave, you know, strong as a tactical nuclear weapon?" Seeing the blank, though slightly fearful, looks on their faces had Lina groaning slightly. "It was easier when I was a kid. Just throw a Dragon Slave at a mountain and turn it to rubble and prove a point. Why'd I have to grow up, get married and have a kid like this?" She looked at Shiro, before sighing and smiling. "Oh yeah, I fell in love, that's why."
Fate wasn't sure what to think about this woman, she seemed unstable at times, but at other times, she seemed really dangerous, and still for all of that, she seemed to have a great amount of love for her family. 'Why?' She asked herself, her chest hurting as she looked at them. Why couldn't she have this with her mother? That's all she wanted. Was it so wrong?
"Well, I think we've all been up long enough." Lina changed the subject, getting a blink from everyone. "Nanoha, you and Yuuno better get back into that room and get some sleep."
"Go, Nanoha." Lina smiled at her. "I promise, nothing bad will happen, okay?"
"Um, okay..." Nanoha got up from the table and quietly made her way into the room and closed the door behind her.
"As for you, Fate..." Lina narrowed her eyes at the blonde girl, who gulped slightly. "Do you want to stay for breakfast in the morning?" She finished with a large grin, causing Fate to balk slightly and Arf to face-fault loudly. "Doesn't that hurt?"
"But, I, um..."
Lina sighed at the girl's stuttering. "Look, Fate, I don't really care why you're fighting Nanoha for these things. But I would rather the two of you stopped fighting each other for them until they're all sealed away." She then smiled at her gently, getting a blush from the girl. "Besides, you don't seem like a bad girl to me." Hell, the more Lina spent around Fate, the more she was reminded of Zelgadis for some odd reason. "Listen, Fate, Arf, if you two need help in the future, don't be afraid to ask me for some help." She then winked at them. "Just don't ask for help fighting Nanoha, okay?"
"Um..." She nodded slightly at the older woman, unsure as to what to say.
"Good!" Lina grinned at her. "So, tonight, you and Arf are going to sleep here, eat breakfast and then you can go back to where you live."
"What kind of person would I be if I didn't put you two up for the night?" Getting flustered as Lina pushed Fate to her room, the small blonde wondered what happened as she found herself quickly stripped and changed into a large shirt, well, large for her body at any rate.
Lina shook her head. "I don't doubt you have a place that you can stay, Fate." She smiled as she unrolled a sleeping bag for the blonde as Shiro and Arf walked into the room. Arf was both confused and amused by what she was seeing. "But if there's one thing I know, it's that a good night's sleep and some food really makes everything better in the morning."
Fate tried to resist, to complain about how she was being treated, but for some reason, it was pretty hard. It got even harder when Fate when Lina grinned like a cat at her. 'Linith...' She thought to herself as she was put into the sleeping bag.
"Now then..." Lina smirked as she saw Arf, in her wolf form, lay down next to Fate. "If I wake up and see you two gone in the morning, I'll go out and hunt you two down the next time a Jewel Seed activates." After Shiro crawled into bed with her, she turned off the lights. "Sleep well."
"But... I never said that I would stay the night..." Fate said softly, but was ignored by Lina and Shiro. Even Arf couldn't say much to it.
Still, for some reason, Fate found herself falling asleep shortly after the lights went out.
Chapter 1 end
Poor Fate, she really can't compete with Lina's more dominant personality, can she?