The standard copied and pasted 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? Huh? Huh? Huhu? Huh?

Hu—Okay, I'll stop it now.

DEFINITELY NOT COPIED AND PASTED PART: A huge thanks to Darkenning from the TV Tropes Forum and of Decadent Habits fame, who co-wrote most of this chapter's content. But there's no incest here, if that worries you.

Please review to your heart's content!

Last Time, on Birthday Gifts:

Chisame drew in a very deep breath, then sprang up to wrap her arms around Negi's neck and mash her lips against his in a wild kiss.

And Now ...

Chisame continued to kiss Negi.

Meanwhile ...

She rocked her hips up against his thrusts, fingernails clawing at his shoulder blades as her mouth worked furiously against his. At last, her spread thighs tensed and her lower legs wrapped tightly around his buttocks as he spilled his seed into her with a low moan, accompanied by her tightly controlled hiss of release as his climax sparked her own.

"That was great," Nagi sighed as he rested on top of his wife.

"That was adequate," Arika responded coolly. "A subsequent iteration may yet prove to be great."

"Subse— woman, come on, are you trying to kill me?" the Thousand Master yelped. "We've already done it three times tonight! Don't you want a rest, yet?"

"Not particularly," the former queen said, shaking her head briskly. "I had plenty of time to rest in the ten years we were separated. Now I wish for physical satisfaction. As for whether I am trying to kill you ... I have contingencies prepared for that event."

"I bet you do," the greatest wizard of the age muttered as he tried to recuperate his forces in a hurry. Then he frowned. "Wait a minute, what do you mean you had plenty of time to rest while we were separated? You were —"

"And I rested while I was," Arika interrupted.

"Nice trick."

"Thank you. Are you ready to continue?"

"Almost, " he sighed. At least there was no chance of being interrupted, whether by friends, family or enemies. The locks on the only door were firmly bolted, there were no windows to this boudoir, and it was shielded against teleportation, magical communication or scrying. They had the ultimate in privacy.

"How about now?" Arika asked with a touch of asperity in her tone.

He was about to make a gentle demurral when he realized that, indeed, he was ready to continue. Sometimes, he was almost sure that she had somehow figured out a way to use some kind of magic on him without his realizing it. But that was surely just paranoia.

Right?

Anyway, he resumed his labors, and this iteration was judged 'good' by Arika. Not yet 'great'. But she was willing to give him another chance.

Negi, he thought, please DON'T marry a girl like your mother.

Elsewhere!

Chisame continued to kiss Negi.

Meanwhile ...

"I'm sure that she will have succeeded by now," Konoemon predicted calmly as he sat at the table drinking tea. "Within a few weeks, they'll be happily married."

"I'm still not sure about all of this," Eishun replied, shaking his head as he sat on the other side of the table. "Using my daughter in this way ... does not sit well with me."

"Would you rather sell her to one of the families in Kyoto?" the old man asked pointedly. "Would that sit better with you?"

"No, of course it wouldn't. I'm just not sure that this is a real improvement on that, however."

"Oh, come now, son-in-law, she's at least fond of the boy. The gambit we've played is finally entering the endgame, and I think that the resolution will be pleasing for everyone."

"Whereas I think that there may yet be some unexpected surprise," Eishun countered.

"And I think you're both fools," said the woman who now entered the headmaster's office, having stepped out to take a brief bathroom break. Konoe Konoeko looked much like an older version of her only daughter, her dark hair just a bit dappled with grey. "Life is not a game of shogi, father."

"Ah, so little faith from my own children," Konoemon lamented. "Then what do you think will happen?"

"I think that she will pursue the goal you imagine, but that she will have her own agenda in doing so, " Konoeko replied as she sat down beside her husband. "And that while that agenda might include thoughts of marriage, I think it much more likely that all that she truly wants is a ride on the boy's bologna pony."

For a few moments, neither man said anything. Then, they slowly chorused, "Bologna pony?"

"Sorry," she airily apologized. "Would you prefer the term, 'rubicante warrior of love'?"

"Uh, no, " they chorused again, shaking their heads in stereo.

"Very well," Konoeko said with a shrug as she poured herself a glass of tea.

"I don't think our daughter is as promiscuous as that, " Eishun opined as he took up his own cup.

"Yes, but you do think I was a virgin on our wedding night, " she pointed out gently.

Tea spewed across the room.

Elsewhere!

Chisame continued to kiss Negi.

Meanwhile ...

"I don't believe it," Kazumi said, staring in amazement at the display. "She's been keeping it up for five whole minutes. That's ... that's the longest kiss I've ever even heard of." Abruptly, she grabbed Mana's shirt. "Do you know what this means?"

"I sure hope it means hands off the merchandise, " Mana said warningly. Her earlier good mood had evaporated as soon as Kaede had arrived in Negi's room, as she'd rather foolishly put good money on a bet that her eternal ninja rival wouldn't show up. If Kaede actually progressed beyond showing up there, and actually got jiggy with Negi, it was going to be very difficult for Mana to resist the temptation to go there herself and show that rotten ninja a thing or two. Or three. Even if it would invalidate all the wagers she'd placed.

Kazumi released her grip on Mana's shirt. "It means that despite everything, we live in a logical universe. It means that the universe doesn't respond to human attributes, but moves in accordance with its logic. The universe doesn't care whether you're a hot-blooded boy or a cute girl, it will only reward you if you live in accordance with logic. With logic all things are possible, without it, there is nothing!"

"I don't think you're using the word logic right," Shiina said after a moment.

"Shaddap, you!" Kazumi snarled, pointing a finger accusingly towards Shiina. "You're the worst violator of logic around, you and your luck!"

"I'm just lucky sometimes," Shiina replied defensively.

"Well, you're not gonna be so lucky now!" Kazumi crowed. "After a kiss that long, the only thing that makes any sort of logical sense is for them to do it! And it doesn't matter that Hasegawa dragged her feet until she wasn't in the first ten, because I'm going to make back all the money that I lost when they do it! Sayo! Sayo, baby, get in close and let me know what they're saying!"

"Well, okay, but I really don't think they're saying anything much at the moment, and ... oh, wait a second ..."

Meanwhile...

Chisame continued to kiss Negi ... and then, quite abruptly, she let go of him, coughed and said, "Wow, this was such a bad idea."

"What?" asked a flustered Negi a moment later.

("What?" asked a flustered Kazumi another moment later, when Sayo repeated Chisame's words.)

"No, no, this is, this is just not going to work. I mean, setting aside all the other girls, who'd probably just as soon kill me as look at me if they knew that I was doing this, I mean, this is not what I want out of life. I-I-I mean, I don't care what Poyo thinks, I want a normal life, and, and I'm never going to get it as long as I'm with you."

"What?" Negi asked again.

(Kazumi didn't repeat him this time. She was too busy howling incoherent abuse.)

"So ... yeah. This is a bad idea. When, when Chachamaru shows up, um, tell her that I'm withdrawing, okay? Uh, that's the right, right thing to do, I think ... um. You're great. I really think that you're great, and if I didn't want a normal life, if I really did want a life of wizardry and wild romance, then, then there's no one I'd want to be with more than you, but I don't want that. I don't." Chisame was nodding and slowly backing away towards the door.

"But, Chisame —" Negi started to say.

"Please, please, don't try and stop me," Chisame interrupted, continuing to back away. "I mean, if, if you did that, I'd have to stay, and I'd be miserable all the time, and eventually I'd make you miserable too, and so, don't, don't stop me. This is really for the best, you know?"

("You stupid stupid woman!" Kazumi shouted at the display showing Chisame backing up out of the doorway. "You're turning it into a shaggy dog story! Where is the logic in any of this!"

"Oh, look, " Shiina said blandly. "Someone put a lot of money on 'Chisame almost does it but backs out before following through'. Pays out 20-1 odds, too. Oh, and that someone just happens to be me. Well. I guess I'm just really lucky."

With a shriek of disbelieving fury, Kazumi leapt on Shiina with homicidal intent.)

Negi had no idea what he was supposed to do in this sort of situation. He settled for something he'd seen in a TV drama.

"No. You won't leave," he said, grabbing her by an arm and kissing her again.

Okay, it hadn't been a very good drama, and come to think about it, it wasn't the wisest thing to say and do in such a situation, but what was done, was done.

Meanwhile...

Misa's limbs were starting to feel stiff.

Trapped inside of a cake in her underwear, doubled unto herself with chunks of chocolate in her hair. Definitely not the way she had expected for the night to turn out.

Someone was out there talking with Sensei. Was that Chisame? It sounded like Chisame, yes. The whole enterprise had just been shot to Hell. Better to make a graceful exit before Hell became even hotter.

Misa reached down and grabbed the cell phone she had brought along just in case.

Madoka? she texted. It's me. Mission aborted. Come and get me out ASAP.

Madoka's reply came fairly quickly. What happened?

Chisame's here. I think. I believe I heard Natsumi too.

What the—? Chisame, I can see it, but what is Natsumi doing there?

I don't know. Just come here for me, okay? I'm hiding inside the cake, so don't mention me. Just say... you came for the cake.

What do I say when they ask me why?

I don't know! I'm trapped, I can't think of anything right now!

... I'm on my way.

Misa sighed as she closed the phone back.

Outside of the sugary goodness, Chisame nervously pulled back from the new kiss.

"Chisame-san..." Negi blinked several times, with almost no breath left.

She looked down. "I'm sorry. I..." she rubbed the tears suddenly coming to her eyes, "I should know I have no chance. I'm not as beautiful, cute, smart or nice as the others. I'm just a crabby bitch who acts as the stick in the mud no matter what. But... But, I just felt I had to—"

"Don't ever say that, Chisame-chan, " he protested. "You're a wonderful person, and one of my—"

"Best friends?" she sniffled. "That's... That's something very touching, but... never enough to... to placate a heart in love," she sadly admitted. "Again, I'm sorry. Look at me, talking as if I wanted to force you into something. I don't want to! I don't need your pity, either... I only want to vent this out, because it's been burning a hole into my soul for so long, and I... I..."

She couldn't keep it up, and clumsily dashed for the balcony. "Excuse me. I need some fresh air!"

"Chisame, no—!" Negi tried to catch her, partly because of fear of her finding the librarians, but also partly because of fear of her throwing herself out. However, Chisame was out there in pretty much a second, breathing heavily as trying to hold back her torrents of tears. Negi walked out after her, looking around for some sign of Nodoka and Yue. He finally saw them when he looked up; Yue had her wand in a hand, and held it up keeping a levitating spell up, with Nodoka clutched to her body for dear life. From above, they looked down at the sobbing Hasegawa with quiet, melancholic sympathy only marred by the briefest occasional streaks of raging spiteful jealousy.

He also could see their panties from that angle, so he quickly looked away again, blushing crimson.

After a few moments of breathing in and out loudly, Chisame wiped the rest of her tears off and walked back inside, much to Negi's relief. He followed her closely again, patting her on a shoulder as Yue and Nodoka came back down and quickly retook their hiding places, striving to look inside without being spotted. Yue barely noticed Nodoka whispering the summoning for her book, her fingers tracing over the pages as she read the thoughts of everyone at the quarters, her face switching from pity to embarrassment to livid fury to confusion at random intervals.

"I think maybe I should leave," Chisame bitterly said. "Leaving forever, because if I stay here, I won't ever be happy, and I won't allow any of you to be happy either..."

"No," he grabbed her by a hand. "We'll never be happy without you." A pause. "I'll never be happy without your company."

Her lips trembled as she looked up at his face. "Sensei..."

"Call me Negi, please," he asked softly.

"Negi..." the single word left her mouth tentatively.

At the room right under Negi's, however, the mood was definitely different.

Takane D. Goodman finally sat up on her bed, fed up with all the noise coming from above. Steps, sobs, muffled drunk screams, smooching sounds, and those weird thumping sounds coming from where she guessed Negi's bed was. It almost sounded like two animals were fighting under that bed.

The blond guest covered her nudity up with a bed robe, grabbed a broom and hit the room's ceiling with it, angrily. "Negi-sensei, keep it down! We're trying to sleep here!"

No reply. The thumping sounds, if anything, only grew harder.

Mei stirred in the bed, pulling the bedsheets tighter against her own nude body. "Takane, please, just let it pass..." she sleepily begged. "Come back here... I feel cold without you here..."

"Only a moment, Mei-chan," she huffed, squeezing the robe even tighter and grabbing her slippers. "Negi-sensei may be a prince now, but even he has to respect our rights to have a good night of rest!"

"What if we don't rest then...?" Mei invited, smiling weakly, with a goofy small expression nearly drowned in her lazy stupor.

The taller woman pondered it before smiling back. "As soon as I come back, " she promised.

Mei groaned as Takane left, closing the door behind her. Oh, she was so stubborn. Once she put her mind into something...

The petite woman grumbled to herself, wrapped herself further with the sheets, and reached down with a hand. Might as well prepare herself for the main event, anyway.

...

There were a few loud bangs at the door, startling Chisame out of her romantic mood and almost making Negi to scream like a girl.

"Oh, no!" she panicked, biting her tongue to avoid being too loud. "Someone's here! Someone's here! And they'll see me! And they'll kill us both! And—!" Then she scowled jealously. "Wait. Who's going to get into your room at this time of night? What kind of skank..." She realized that would involve her as well, so she just shook her head and said, while the angry slams grew louder, "N-Never mind! Just get rid of whoever that is! We'll continue... talking... later!"

"But where will you—" he asked, then saw her ducking behind his dressing screen and holding a finger over her lips.

"Just do it!" she hissed, then pulled her head in as well, disappearing from sight.

Negi ran his hands through his hair and sheepishly walked for the door, trying to tell himself he had had a good life. From the way it sounded, it seemed to be Asuna, or perhaps Anya. No doubt they had figured at least part of what was happening out, and now there would be hell to pay. In a way, it would be almost a release at that point, though.

The last person he expected to see, although in retrospect he should have suspected it, was Takane, shouting her head off at him.

"FINALLY! SENSEI, EVEN BEING THE PRINCE DOESN'T GIVE YOU THE RIGHT TO KEEP US UP ALL NIGHT LONG!"

"Ah! I'm sorry, Takane-san!" He actually was relieved to see someone coming at him with clearly non romantic intentions. At least, he hoped she had actually none at all. It was always hard to tell with females of that kind. "I was... watching TV! But I turned it off! I'm-I'm going to sleep right now, so you can leave without any—"

"Mmmmm? Negi? You talkin' to m—" a still somewhat drunk, even if more clear minded now, Kotaro had just emerged from the shower room wearing a towel... wrapped around his shoulders as he rubbed his hair dry. Unfortunately, he wasn't wearing a towel where it mattered the most.

Takane's eyes bugged out. "What in the—!"

"Yow!" Kotaro yelped, quickly covering his crotch with the towel. "Hey, Nee-san, knock on the damn door before walking into someone else's room, willya?"

"I-I knocked! Several times, and with extreme force!" she roared as Negi buried his face into his hands, holding his urges to weep. Then there was a stunned pause on Takane's part. "A second. So, those bed-thumping noises we heard... and now you're walking out of the shower..."

Negi's face twitched, while Kotaro remained in an apathetic stupor now, apparently not getting it.

Takane's eyes narrowed in suspicion. "Were you two doing... male bonding?"

"Hell, no!" Negi blurted out.

"Hell, yeah. What's so wrong about it?" Inugami snorted. "We do male bonding all the time! At sparring, after it, at the baths! We're two of a kind, after all!"

"You are, huh...?" Takane lifted an eyebrow, unsure of what to do now. Mei-chan would be disappointed; she still held kind of a flame over the uncouth dog-boy, as she had admitted after accidentally screaming his name at a climax. It had taken her a lot of effort to convince Takane of forgiving her; even more to convince her of putting on a black wig, fake ears and a tail during their make believe Wednesdays. Really, it was humbling. And yet, right now, the idea of Negi and Kotaro going at it heavily on that bed right over theirs... it was becoming strangely appealing...

She smiled slowly, which unnerved Negi even more. "I can explain..."

"No, I already understand, Sensei, " she said, sounding far too actually understanding for comfort. "I know what it's like, to hide your relationship from the cruel, harsh eyes of an uncaring society. For far too long, Mei-chan and me were afraid of revealing the true depth of our link..."

"Why would you?" Kotaro snorted, still not getting it at all. "That's normal between mages, isn't it?"

"Well, not that much, actually, but..."

"She doesn't mean their Pactio, Kotaro-kun, " Negi clenched his teeth.

"Huh? Then what else could she—"

Then a soft voice spoke from the still open door. "Excuse me...?"

Negi jumped in terror, but Kotaro and Takane only looked indifferently at the doorstep, where Zazie stood up wearing only a see-through negligee. "We have run out of ice cubes. Sensei, would you happen to have some...?"

"I— I—" Negi babbled. "Yes, I have—"

"I'll go for them, " Kotaro tumbled for the mini kitchen.

"NO! NO, I MEAN, DON'T BOTHER! I'LL BRING THEM MYSELF!" Negi ran past him.

"What's the problem with him tonight?" Kotaro snorted, sitting down on the bed.

"Zazie-san, who are you with?" Takane asked. "And why would you have need of ice cubes at this time?"

Zazie blushed faintly at Kotaro's sight and gestured for Takane to lean closer. As the blond did it, she had something whispered into her ear. "Oh... Oh, I see! Yes, Mei-chan and me do sometimes, too. May I suggest you a few things? She's around the same size as Mei-chan, so she should love this..."

Meanwhile...

Somehow, despite keeping his eyes closed and his hands clamped over his face all the way, Negi made his way to the kitchenette. He drew in a very deep breath, gathered his courage, and opened the fridge. Sure enough, he was met by Sextum's calm, stoic eyes staring right into his.

"I'll need some ice, please," he asked.

She nodded, handing him a small plastic bag with five cubes in it. "Will this be enough?"

"I think so. Thanks," he whispered, and after a second, posed a question. "Aren't you... chilly in there?"

The naked girl shook her head. "Ice is my element." A very brief beat. "But it is tight in here."

"I'll get you out as soon as I can," Negi promised, before closing the door and walking back to the door. "Here it is, Zazie-san."

"Thanks," the acrobat said, taking the bag. She bowed for her teacher, Kotaro and Takane, and came back the way she had arrived.

Takane smiled and closed the door. "Well, now we can continue talking. Boys, while I understand how... ah... eager to vent out you may be in such a special date, and after all the time you have hidden this, it's still wrong and rude to make such a scandal. Not to mention the girls might hear you, as well. Frankly, I'm shocked Evangeline, Asuna, Nodoka-san and everyone else isn't here already."

Kotaro frowned. "What are you talking about? We haven't been making any—"

Then his ears finally caught the faint sounds of moaning and humping under the bed, his drunk stupor beginning to fade away. "What was that?"

"My bed is under a spell," Negi said.

Both of his friends made dumbfounded expressions. "Pardon me?" Takane asked.

"A curse that makes hard for me to sleep," Negi tried to explain. "That's why I would appreciate if you—"

"Why don't you dump that bed and get yourself another one?" Kotaro scratched his scalp.

Then Takane noticed another thing. She picked Sextum's discarded robe and slippers from the floor. "And what is this?" Looking at Kotaro's frame, naked save for the towel around his body, she asked, "I understand why you'd wear this if you're the uke, Inugami-san, but isn't it a bit too small for you?"

"Stop talking in riddles, woman!" Kotaro barked. "I haven't understood a single word of what you've said tonight!"

Then, another person rapped on the door.

Negi yelped. "Hide!"

"Why?" Kotaro inquired.

"Yes. Why? We aren't doing anything bad," Takane said. "Well, I'm not. You two, well, it's for the best if this is known before the girls are even more heartbroken than—"

"People will misunderstand!" Negi hissed. "You know how they are!"

Takane paused. "You have a point, all right. Well, Inugami-san, go hide under that cursed bed. I'll hide in the closet in the meanwhile..."

"No! No!" Negi grabbed her by an arm, shaking his head and almost crying. "Go back into the shower, please!"

Takane blinked just as the rapping repeated itself. "Why?"

"... The closet is cursed too," was the best Negi could offer.

Kotaro moaned. "I still don't know why I must do this. Not like there's anything bad with two guys alone in a room..."

"I'll explain you later!" Takane huffed, taking him into the shower with her, and taking the robe and slippers with them. "But whoever that is, dispatch them quickly, Sensei! I have... important things to do!" Her tone was almost threatening as she closed the door on his face.

In the room below, Mei moaned, fingering herself to a climax...

Negi's teeth chattered for a moment, but he quickly recomposed himself, regained a semblance of normalcy, and headed back for the front door.

"Is this a bad time?" Makie asked him anxiously as she stood in the hallway, wearing a bathrobe and bunny slippers.

Something deep within Negi urged him to answer yes, to tell her that it was in fact a very bad time. But that something was drowned out beneath his deeply trained courtesy and tact. "No, not at all, " he lied. "Come in."

Makie smiled brightly, then came in through the doorway and shut it behind her. "Um, well, here's the thing. I've been thinking about things, and I've realized that I've been going about this all wrong. I mean, look at Nodoka, she just went and told you that she liked you, and she kissed you those times, and so you've gotten really close to her. Because she took initiative, instead of waiting for the right moment, like I've been doing. So I'm going to do what she did, sort of."

"Uh, Makie, this might not be a —"

"Probably, but I'm doing it anyway, " Makie said, undoing her robe's belt and letting it drop to the floor around her ankles, revealing that she was completely naked underneath. "Negi, I want to fuck you, " she said calmly.

To be Continued…