The standard disclaimer, because I'm too darn lazy to write an all new one: Mahou Sensei Negima and all related elements and characters are the property and creation of Akamatsu Ken, and the author of this humble piece has made no material profit from it, and never will do.
Any non-parodic, non-totally safe similarity between the characters and events featured or mentioned in this story and anyone or anything ever actually seen in real life is a pure coincidence. I mean it. Would I ever lie to you? Huh? Huh?
Please review to your heart's content!
It had been a wonderful birthday party, although after seven years of royal birthday parties at his Mother's regained castle with everyone in attendance, Negi just didn't feel the same childlike thrill about it anymore. Still, he greatly valued all the care and effort his friends, even those who once were foes, and family put into it. He only wished some of them hadn't drank that much.
As the young man reached his bedroom's door, he absently checked on the hour. 3:25 A.M. Wow, later than he expected. He almost felt like being able to celebrate a bit more, but all in all, it probably was for the better just calling it a night.
He closed the door behind himself only to gasp in shock. Evangeline was smiling sultrily, lying on her side, and on his bed, wearing nothing but a black yet fully transparent negligee that didn't hide a single inch of the bare body underneath, and a large black gift bow on the top of her head.
"Happy Birthday again, Boyo..." she purred. "Hm, hm, hm, now you're 18, no one will be able to protest about this, not even you. It's time for you to learn the most important lesson of them all..."
By now, Negi Springfield already was an ace at identifying innuendo when he heard it, but also an ace of avoiding acting on it. "N-No, we can't! It's... It's wrong!"
"Why? You already are the right age."
"But you're my student!"
"I graduated years ago, you idiot!"
"And I'm your student!"
"I already graduated you, too!"
She rose up to hug the paralyzed boy, rubbing her right cheek against his strong chest. "Oh God, I've been waiting so long for this moment..."
At that moment, someone knocked at the door.
"Curses!" Eva hissed. "We'll continue this later, " With that, without even waiting for his approval, she locked herself inside of Negi's closet.
"Master, are you really hiding?" Negi blinked.
"HAH!" her voice came from the inside. "Evangeline AK Mc Dowell hides from no one! This is only a strategic temporary repositioning to avoid answering to annoying lesser beings! Now go open that door and dispatch that interloper away quickly!"
The boy stood there in dumbed down silence for a few moments before the knocks on his door brought him back to reality.
"G-Going!" he said, shakily walking ahead and opening. He found himself face to face (more or less, since he had grown much taller than them) with Nodoka and Yue, both wearing matching thick night shirts that reached down to their knees. "Ah-ah, it's you, girls. How can I help you?"
"C-Can we get in, Sensei?" the taller librarian asked, sounding much more unsure than usual, almost as much as she did back in her early mid school years.
His first impulse was to find an excuse to say no, before something bad happened, but before he could utter the words, Yue took the horse by the reins and nearly dragged her friend in with herself. "Thank you," the still tiny girl said, closing the door behind themselves.
"You're welcome..." the young man tried to laugh. "So, um, is there anything wrong?"
"Negi," Yue began, fighting the faint blush on her cheeks. "Since we graduated, we've been living together, haven't we?"
"Well, of course..." he said with a vague nod, half not getting what she was trying to say, and half not wanting to get it. "You've done an excellent job handling the Royal Library..."
"Thanks. It's been a pleasure, " Ayase briefly smiled. "Still, to be with you, we left our families, our home world, even our chances for a college education, behind. I know you never asked that from us, and we'll never regret doing it. But... by now... we think it's time for a... a... a deeper payoff... to our relationship," she fumbled with the words.
"Ah?" Negi blinked.
"Sensei, we—" Nodoka drew in a deep breath, "We want to make you happy in all the ways we can! We want to give you everything we have!" she rushed the sentences out before she lost the will to utter them.
"You mean..." the boy gulped.
"Negi, we're 22 now," Yue replied. "I'd say we have... waited enough. We hate feeling we're pressuring you, but we also are starting to feel we are doing nothing but running in circles."
"But, the thing is—!" he started, without the slightest idea of how to finish the sentence. He felt half-terrified, half-thankful upon being interrupted by another knock at the door.
"Oh, no!" Nodoka gasped. "If anyone sees us here, they might think we're—"
"Aren't we?" Yue silenced her with a finger over her own lips before telling her former teacher, "Negi, please cover us, okay? Nodoka, to the balcony, quick." She pulled her almost sister out with herself, closing the curtains behind themselves.
"I, uh, ah, eh...!" Negi couldn't reply before they stepped out of sight. Then the knocks insisted, so he had to go see who it was at the door.
"Negi..." It was Kotarou, slightly hunched up with an empty glass in a hand, smirking goofily at him. "I was lookin' for you, man!" His voice was erratic and gurgling, clearly inebriated. "The night's still young! Let's drink some more, okay?"
"Kotarou-kun, you know I'm a horrible drinker!" Negi frowned. "And so are you! Where's Natsumi-san? I didn't think she'd let you—"
His friend stumbled inside with a grunt. "Nat-chan? I dunno. Mebbe she went ta sleep. God, she can be overbearin' at thimes... Mind if I crash in for a while? My head's killin' me..."
Negi sighed while closing the door again. The last thing he needed was Natsumi barging in while Eva was in his closet and the librarians chilling at the balcony. He'd try to talk some sense into Kotarou and send him back to his room as fast as he could. "You two fought again?"
"Man, I dunno what's gotten into her lately." Kotaro slumped down onto Negi's bed. "She's just so... demanding, you know? Like she wants to go way further ahead way too fast..."
"Y-Yeah, I guess I can understand that..." Negi nervously chuckled.
"It's not I don't like her, but sometimes I just wonder if we're really meant to be together. We hardly see eye to eye on anythin'... I'm startin' ta think maybe we'd be better with people we have more in common with..."
"D-Don't say that!" Negi said. "Natsumi-san is a wonderful person!"
"Yeah, but maybe I should be with another kind of wonderful person..." His nose sniffed Negi's bedsheets fondly, and his hands absently wandered up to his pillow, vaguely playing with it in a nearly puppylike fashion. "Someone who really knows how I feel... Someone I can talk heart ta heart with..."
For some reason, Negi was starting to feel an ill omen about that latest turn of events.
Kotarou was wagging his tail. "Someone I can see as my equal, not as my superior, like that bossy girl. Someone who shares my interests..."
Dear God, please let him be talking about Kaede. Please let him be talking about Kaede, Negi repeated in his mind.
Negi contemplated his options. A simple sleep spell would be more than enough to put the already dozy Kotarou to snore, and then he could just carry him back to his own room. He'd have done just that if it didn't mean leaving Eva, Nodoka and Yue alone in the room... somewhat he was very sure of being a very bad idea.
Calling for Natsumi or Chizuru to come for him was also out of considering; Kotarou could start argue with them, and the whole situation would just escalate. Letting Kotarou to sleep on his bed was another thing he'd just have done under different circumstances, but he wasn't sure of it being wise at all now. With him drooling on the pillow and placing absent chomps that almost looked like kisses on it, and everything. Negi liked to think of himself as very accepting of all different lifestyles, but if there was one thing where he drew a line of being different from his father, that was the part involving kissing men.
"Kotarou-kun, " he gently prodded his friend's right shoulder.
"You're too drunk. You should take a quick shower and see if that snaps you out of it."
Kotarou blinked very slowly. "Shower...?"
"Yes, I think you need a cold— I mean, a hot shower to wake you up. Since, um, you kinda aren't being the same..."
"Nonsense. I'm as clear minded as always, if not more," the wolfboy sat up, putting a paw over his heart. "Yep, now I see things for what they really are. I see what's what I really want in life!" he shouted, despite Negi's desperate gestures for him to keep his voice low. "Who needs wimmen?-! All I need is my bestest pal! My Bro! My— My—".
He stopped, smiling dumbly.
"Then again, a bath sounds kinda nice... Yeah, a long hot one..."
"A quick one would work just fine!" Negi laughed stiffly.
Kotarou already was pulling his shirt off, revealing his manly, strong, scarred torso. "Let's go, then! Like the old times! Me an' me pal, takin' a comfy bath together, talkin' stuff far from the gossipy hens..."
"S-Sorry, but my bathroom is too small to fit both of us—"
Kotarou already was tugging his pants down. His own, mind you. Sorry, everyone else who hoped differently. "You sure? I don't mind being a bit squeezy in with y—"
Negi forced another laugh. "Ah, you're such a joker! Just get in there and enjoy yourself!" he said while nearly pushing him inside of his shower stall.
"... Okay, but you'll clean it up afterwards."
"Yeah, yeah, " Negi nodded, closing the stall's door after him, only to realize then what had his friend just meant. He did a spit-take.
Before his mind could process all that, they knocked at the door again.
Maybe if he just ignored it...
Negi remained perfectly still and silent.
They knocked again.
There were faint sounds of motion from inside the closet.
Before Evangeline could step out to open the door, Negi bolted for it. All he found at his doorstep, however, was a huge cake almost as tall as himself. At least it wasn't anyone else. Better to bring it inside before it drew anyone's attention.
He thought it came from Satsuki at first, but as he carried it inside (oddly, it felt heavier than a cake should, even one of that size), he noticed a small note attached to it.
To Negi-kun: Have the happiest birthday of your life! With love, from Sakurako and Madoka.
Negi smiled, moved by that. "Girls..."
Then it hit him like a brick.
Sakurako and Madoka?
But then, where did that leave...?"
He slowly turned his paled face towards the cake just as a sweet, melodic voice began to sing from its inside.
"Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you... Happy Birthday, dear Sen-seiiii..."
Kakizaki Misa emerged from the cake like a butterfly out of a cocoon, sensually stretching herself up, wearing nothing but tiny, very racy black lingerie.
"Happy Birthday. To. You."
"Gah... Gah... Gah..." his jaw trembled, his eyes round and blank.
Misa craned her neck ahead, blew some cake from her own face into his nose, and then mischievously licked it off, with a wink.
For a moment, a vehement voice at the back of his mind just yelled for him to forget everyone else, carry her to the bed and have the happiest birthday of his life.
"M-M-M-Misa-san!" Negi quickly pulled back, fighting hard to drown his hormones down into a sea of 'This won't end well' thoughts. "What do you think you're doing?-!"
"Hmmmm?" she sweetly hummed, fixing a mischievous kittenish smirk up. "Oh, it's more about what I... no, we'll be doing..."
"Not funny, Misa-san!" he said. "You can't just barge into a man's room and, umm..." his voice trailed off as he saw Misa sitting down at the cake's edge, crossing her succulent long legs in an extremely tempting way, "Ah... I mean, that thing where... It's wrong, because... uhh, I like you, but I couldn't..." he noticed her suddenly disappointed, shocked glare, "I mean, I could! It's just we shouldn't!"
Misa feigned innocence. "Have I said we would do anything but friendly cuddling up together to celebrate this wonderful date?"
He blinked. "Huh? No, you haven't, but—"
She leaned her head upon his chest and purred. "Then let's do just that..."
"O-o-O-o-Okay..." his eyes twitched oddly while he allowed her to rub her head against his body.
Then she started kissing his collarbone.
"Th-Th-That's more than simple friendly cuddling!" he all but squealed.
"Haven't you ever heard of the term 'friends with benefits'...?" she said, nibbling on his flesh, leaving tiny hickeys on it...
And then someone knocked at the door.
Misa pulled back immediately. "Shit! And I was so close, too!"
She quickly grabbed a bedsheet, jumped back inside of the cake, and covered all of the cake up. "Get rid of whoever it is fast so we can continue!" she commanded from her hiding place.
"But..." Negi began.
"Now!" Misa said.
Negi finally began to understand why had his father become a lonely vagrant, but before he could meditate further on the subject, the knocks continued. Going through the list of admirers in his head and dreading who could come next, he dragged his feet to the door and opened it...
"NEGWIIII-KUUUNNNNN!" Konoka jumped into his arms, tackling him down to the floor while a flushing, sighing Setsuna stood back.
"Gah! Konoka-san!" Negi tilted his head aside to escape the cloud of alcoholic smell coming out of his old roommate's mouth. "H-How much did you drink at the party?"
"'Twas only three glasshes, Negwi-kunnn..." Konoka giggled, quickly mounting his chest, her white dress slightly disarranged. "Don't be such a shpoilshport. This is shupposed two bwe yer big day! Enjoy! WHEEE!" she threw her arms around.
"Setsuna-san, why did you bring her here?" the boy mage gave the bodyguard a mortified look. "She should be at her room, sleeping this off..."
Setsuna lowered her head, fidgeting nervously. "I apologize, Negi-sensei. But we had agreed to do this long before your party started. As a matter of fact, if Ojo—Kono-chan drank, it was only to give herself more confidence."
A sudden terror gripped Negi. "More confidence... for what?"
Setsuna shyly pushed the door behind herself closed with a foot.
"Oh no..." Negi sweated bullets.
"We botch wuv u a much, Negwi-kuuunnn..." Konoka smiled angelically as her fingers fumbled around with his buttons. "It'sh okway, Gwampa gwave his blessin'... Shaid he even hooped fer a schild 'fore Deshember...!" her giggling reached an unusually high pitch, as tiny drops of saliva fell down her mouth and on the prone Negi's frozen face.
"Setsuna-san...!" he practically wailed, but all rational hope left him when he saw Setsuna was uneasily pulling her own shirt open, showing off both her white bra and her wide white feathery wings.
"I know I'm not as beautiful as Kono-chan, and I ask for no more than you to make her happy..." then she reluctantly, yet hopefully added, "But, if your warm heart could see fit to share your special kindness with me as well...?"
Negi choked on his own tongue seconds before Konoka brought her mouth down on his.
Negi was seeing stars as Konoka finally broke the kiss, licking her lips up and down. "That was wonderfull, Negwi-kunnnn..." she slurred. "Sho mush bwetter than our firsht kissch..."
"Yes, it was..." he babbled before saying, "But it's wrong! You are not in your right mind now! Setsuna-san, you have to understand, even if she can't!"
The sober half hanyou shifted a foot around awkwardly. "But we took this decision long ago, when Ojou-sama hadn't even drunk a drop..."
Konoka hiccuped, then fell on her back and off Negi, rolling on the floor like a baby, hugging herself. "Ahhhh, Negwi-kunnnn, I feel so hot... I think I'll have to strip down..."
He took his chance to stand back up, his eyes turned into giant saucers. "Y-You can't let her do this, Setsuna-san! She'll regret it tomorrow early!"
Setsuna blinked, thinking it over before shyly saying... "Maybe... we two could do it until she recovers her full senses? A bodyguard's duty is to check anything her master will use, to verify if it's safe for her." She paused, then bashfully added, "And I *have* seen you in the bath. If you aren't careful, you might hurt Ojou-sama with such a big—"
"I wuv dat idea, Setchwan!" Konoka pumped a fist up. "I wanna watsch!"
(Knock, knock) the door sounded again.
"Interlopers!" Out of pure instinct, Setsuna's fingers moved for Yuunagi.
"Disaster!" Negi gasped.
"Foursome!" Konoka's eyes shone.
Setsuna grabbed her by an arm and ducked under Negi's bed with her. "Sensei, we'll continue this conversation later! But please don't allow anyone to learn about this! Ojou-sama has a reputation to keep!"
"Wheee, Setchan, naughwtyyy!" Konoka sing sang. "We'd never done it *under* the bed! I wike it!"
Negi prayed for Setsuna to be able to keep her quiet before sighing, swallowing, and walking for the door, so nervous he didn't even remember his shirt still was unbuttoned.
He warily opened the door, now facing a tearful, sobbing Murakami Natsumi.
"Where is he?" the actress said.
"Kotarou-kun?" he asked back, rather lamely.
"Who else?" Natsumi forced her way inside, looking around. "I need to talk with him! He just stormed out of there when I had something so important to tell him! Arrgh, it's always the same! You have no idea how frustrating it is!"
"H-Have you looked in his room?" Negi stammered.
"Of course I've!" Natsumi sniffled. "Kaede hasn't seen him, either, nor Asuna or Ku! All three of them were too busy rushing elsewhere to even help me look for it! This is the second best place to look for him! Sensei, if you're hiding him—!"
"I'm... not!" he lied, hoping to send her away before a situation exploded. "Why don't you calm down and head back to your room? I'll look for him, and when I find him, I'll tell him you—"
"Is he in the closet?" Natsumi angrily knocked at the closet's door.
"N-NO!" Negi panicked.
The actress narrowed her eyes. "Then why are you scared about it? He IS there, isn't he?"
"N-No, it's just...! Just...!" he finally sighed. "You caught me, Murakami-san, I don't want for you to look there... because I have... ahhh... a stash of dirty magazines hidden there," he lied again.
Natsumi blinked, stunned for a moment before blushing. "Well... it's a natural thing for a boy to keep, especially one who's teased as often as you. I-I understand. It must be hard, standing under all that pressure."
"Yes, it's... hard..." he sat down on the bed, slumping his back in defeat, his arms casually falling on his lap while remembering the last few encounters of the night.
Natsumi's anger seemed to cool down a bit as she sat down next to him, patting him on a shoulder. "They all mean well, you know."
"Yes, I don't doubt it. It's just... they want to go too fast and into too many separate directions at once. I feel torn apart between them, Natsumi-san. And the worst part is, I can't even tell them how do I—" He bit his tongue, realizing at least some of them must have been hearing.
A soft muffled moan came from under the bed. Natsumi blinked. "What was that?"
"Errr, I have mice in here," Negi sweated.
"Those mice kinda sound like Setsuna."
A new, now giggling sound alerted her.
"And that one sounds a bit like Konoka."
"It's only their chirping, " Negi said. "Mundus Magicus mice are... different."
"Oh, of course. Sorry, " Natsumi nodded. "Don't be so down, Sensei. I feel like I'm torn, too. Kotarou never seems to want to think about the future; he just wanders aimlessly through life, with no goals, no objectives other than 'becoming stronger', and it pains me to see him like that. I still love him, but lately I've been so... disappointed with him. I wish he could be just a bit more like you. Even right after finding your father, you set a new goal for yourself. You're always moving ahead with a clear path."
"Errr, thanks..." he said, noticing how Natsumi was starting to edge closer towards him.
"We're on the edge of breaking up," Natsumi confessed. "And tonight, I think we had the final straw on the camel's back. Oh, Sensei!" she collapsed into his arms crying. "If only I had stayed on the path I first had set for myself!"
She sobbed loudly. "When-When I first met you, I fell in love with you, like everyone else!" she confessed. "But I didn't have the courage to pursue my dream, like Nodoka and the girls! I was an idiot... choosing to surrender without even fighting! Only because I didn't trust myself! And I never even got to tell you anything! Then I met Kotarou-kun, and for a long while I thought I had gotten over it, that I had found someone else... but now..." she breathed deeply. "Now, I see... I'd have been better if... if..."
"Please don't say it!" he begged.
She lifted her head up, looking up at him with those extremely adorable watery eyes, and his heart melted down. Had he ever noticed before how... beautiful she was?
"Okay..." she softly said. "I won't say it..."
She craned her neck up, her lips brushing against his.
"I'll let actions... to talk instead..."
And then, before his mind even could process it, she was kissing him.
TO BE CONTINUED…
Author's Notes: Yes, I know Nagi most likely didn't ever kiss any of his manly Ala Rubra pals. Yeah. Sure. Creative license. That.
Next time, things won't get any easier for Negi!