It's been a busy week but it's finally Friday again and I am ready to start the session with Nanoha and Fate, as soon as they arrive. I think they will enjoy today's session as I am trying something different, more interactive for today.
I think we will get some cute stories and they will both have fun. Well, probably Nanoha more than Fate, but we will see. Sometimes Fate manages to surprise me.
"I have a special session prepared for you today," I tell my two dear friends as soon as they come in to my office and sit down, while Fate seems to start to turn pale at my words.
Really, what does this girl believe I will do to them? Tsk tsk.
"Surprise us, Hayate-chan!" Nanoha answers me with her characteristical energy.
"Or not..." Fate replies under her breath.
"Why can't you be more lika Nanoha-chan, Fate? You have so little faith in me, you make it sound like it's a test you haven't studied for Fate-chan, or that I will make you try exotic bed positions you have never heard about for... research purposes. Which you would have to thank me for."
"Doubt we need that, Hayate-chan." Nanoha mutters and Fate blushes of course. It's nice to have her recover some of her color, she looks sometimes so unnaturally pale.
"Hah, kinky you two. But no, don't distract me, Nanoha-chan, this is a PG-13 environment so hold your horses."
I hand them two large drawing pads and a marker to each.
"We are going to draw?" Fate asks intrigued.
"I will ask you questions to see how well you know each other or at least it will let us see what you see of the other and you will write your answers and then share. Sounds good?"
"Fine…" Fate agrees and Nanoha nods.
"Ok, so let's set up the environment."
I get up from behind my desk and walk towards them. I need them to stand back to back, not facing each other when they write their answers and I sit on the edge in the middle of my desk. They comply and I see Nanoha giggling and Fate looking sideways and the at the ceiling, probably wondering what to do or wondering again how she got dragged into this.
"Ok, let's start with an easy one. What is each other's favorite color? Write your answer and after you are both done, turn to each other."
They write their answers and do as I request so I ask Nanoha to say her answer first, and then for Fate to show her answer. Fate has written "white" just as Nanoha had said, and the copper-haired smiled.
"That was easy," Nanoha points out.
The same happens with Fate, who answers "black", which is the same answer Nanoha had quickly written.
"It's funny because you rearely wear black in your every day clothes. Also you seem to have systematically eliminated the black from your Barrier Jacket, Fate-chan. Nanoha has been more consistent on her standard white. Is there a reason for it, even if it's your favorite color?"
"As a proud Navy Enforcer, I wanted to show that in my barrier jacket. There was not much room for black in the navy style, heh."
"You could have kept your black cape."
"I don't know, maybe Nanoha has rubbed off on me. I like having her white on my cape," Fate shrugged nonchalantly.
"Fate-chan may not say those things out loud, but she shows them. I like that about her, " Nanoha blows a kiss which is welcomed by a beaming Fate.
"And here I was thinking it was because you are a paladin of justice and white also being a prominent color in the Navy, but I like your answer better Fate-chan. Definitely earns you points with your woman. I like your style. Okay, next! This one is only for you Nanoha-chan: what is Fate's favorite dessert?"
Fate laughs and starts writing on her pad, then tapping her lips with her fingers for a moment, turns around the page and scribbles again. I know she has a sweet tooth, but it seems she's writing a treatise on desserts. Nanoha seems to ponder for a while and finally scribbles something. Then takes a moment to think again, turns around her pad and writes some more.
What are these two up to? It's just dessert. A simple question about dessert. The finish and turn to each other in what seems a playful duel of looks.
"Let's see your answer Fate-chan."
Fate smiles mischievously at Nanoha and displays her answer in the pad with hurried writing: "Nanoha's special chocolate cake."
"Fate-chan!" Nanoha gives her an offended smile and mimics a heart breaking and shows us her drawing pad where she had written "my kisses".
"Oh hoho, Fate-chan, and I was just praising on the points you were scoring with Nanoha… seems someone struck out and will be sleeping on the couch today!" I tease my blonde friend.
I hadn't counted on the treatise Fate was writing though. With a wide smile the blonde turned around the pad, showing an additional part of her answer.
"As long as Nanoha is kissing me while eating it. If not, Nanoha's kisses."
"I knew it," Nanoha said smugly and then turned around her pad to show her complete answer: "My chocolate covered kisses."
"Wow, kinky and sassy you two! Okay, it seems it will be really a challenge to find a question that will throw you off balance if you get that specific on kisses and desserts! Amazing recovery Fate-chan! Let's see. Now it's a question for you, Fate. What is Nanoha's most precious, happiest childhood moment?"
"Sneaky, Hayate-chan," Fate tells me upon hearing my question. Nanoha is already scribbling her answer and Fate is now the one pondering.
After they both indicate they have their answers, I ask Fate to show her answer. Fate turns around her drawing pad for me and Nanoha to read: "when she discovered her magic."
I turn around and see Nanoha shaking her head giving Fate a "really?" look.
"Really?" Fate asks back was if genuinely surprised she didn't get the answer correctly.
Nanoha turns around her drawing pad at the same time she answers to Fate.
"When you finally said my name, you dummy. I couldn't be happier. I was the happiest ever. When you said my name so many times. You know that."
"Yeah… it was for me too..."
"How many times was it Fate?"
"Several…" Fate answered, visibly embarrassed.
"Seven." Nanoha stated without hesitation.
"Seven times!? Seems like you couldn't get enough of her Fate-chan."
"I could never have too much of her," Fate said in a raspy voice.
"Wait, so that was not for marketing purposes?"
"What? What are you talking about Hayate-chan?"
"We all have seen that iconic scene in the movie project you made for TSAB, I thought that was added drama for marketing purposes."
Nanoha shakes her head amused and taking Fate's hand led her to the love seat in my tea-area so I join them and sit in front of them.
"You know the project you collaborated on for TSAB was supposed to be for training purposes, but it really looks more like the start of your love story," I continue.
"Well... I guess... it is impossible to separate one from the other." Nanoha answers me.
"So is that part accurate? Fate calling your name seven times? It was not altered or exaggerated?"
"It is completely accurate."
Fate blushes again covering her mouth with her fist closed as Nanoha smiled wickedly at the blonde who just looked away even more flustered.
"She still gets embarrassed about having our first encounter… the beginning of our story... being so openly told to everyone in an "educational" movie. Anyways, I couldn't let anyone change a bit of that. Our battles yes, the Jewel Seed encounters, yes. The way she made me feel all those days, no."
"I still don't know how you were able to be so aware of your feelings with everything happening."
"Did you ever get the tapes Vivio recorded when we were still reviewing the script, Hayate-chan?"
"You mean the commentary session you made with the Stars and Lightning teams?"
"No, before the movie was finished. I'll look for it."
Fate had kept silently watching Nanoha talk about their past on screen, glancing her with shy smiles and sometimes biting her lips as if she wanted to say something and just wouldn't.
"You want to add something, Fate?"
"I.. I have that recording Nanoha is mentioning… I mean...I think I know which one she is referring to."
Much to my surprise, Fate took out her personal comm device and after a few clicks, Vivio's voice started to sound:
Vivio: Oh and mama...It's about mama's talk about your childhood past. How was it like when you first met Fate-mama?
Nanoha: How was it like?
Vivio: Yeah, like your first impression and stuff like that?
Nanoha: I guess I thought to myself "what a beautiful girl". I am sure you read it in the script but she had a completely black barrier jacket. Her skin was so white and her arms so thin they looked like they would break, but when she moved, she moved so quickly your eyes couldn't follow her at all. But most of all, her eyes were so beautiful. So beautiful they could drown you. But they looked so incredibly lonely and sad.
Vivio: So that's why you wanted to talk to her?
Nanoha: Back then, I was pretty much caught in a lot of different things. I was probably lonely and pretty lost too. So I guess that's why when I saw Fate-chan, I was captivated with her.
Vivio: You thought, "I want to be her friend".
Somewhere along listening to the recording, Nanoha had taken Fate's hand in between hers and kept it tight between her knees.
"And yet afterwards as we grew up and became teenagers you had more doubts and Fate was more clear," I ponder out loud.
"Well you could understand me better, Hayate-chan being born and raised on Earth like me, at least until we all met. The world we lived at the time was not entirely ready for a relationship like the one Fate and I were developing. I am not even sure I was raised to understand it. It was confusing. And I had my weak moments. I'm not proud of that, but I found my way. Nothing would keep me away from her."
"Was that the same for you Fate?"
"I think so... There were too many feelings in me so early and the rest of the world didn't seem to move at the same speed. It seemed so odd to feel everything I did for her. And still I figured myself out faster than she did, that's why we had our problems before graduating from school in Uminari."
"And you waited for me."
"I would have waited all my life for you."
Yep, they got lost into each other's eyes again. What to do...
"Hey! Look at the time! Do you want to get out of here and the three of us get a drink somewhere, I will call Signum, Vita and Shamal as well."
"Not tonight, Hayate-chan. Rain-check. I'll even pay for drinks for all of us… but… right now..."
And with whatever was left unsaid, Fate took Nanoha from the wrist and hurried out of my office.
"You go! Fate-chan I am rooting for you!" I shout at them telepathically, in case they wouldn't hear me.
From the looks of it I do hope Vivio has a good set of headphones ready.
I can't wait to ask them next week why Fate was in such a hurry to leave. Tehehehe.
Just for reference: the recording mentioned here is a transcription of the translation from the actual Nanoha Movie sound stage side N (10).
There is also the Movie commentary where Nanoha does state she was the happiest when Fate hugged her back, I took a liberty here and extend that to when Fate says her name.