I don't own Negima. As my name is not Akamatsu Ken, that should be obvious. Especial thanks to OverMaster for permission to use a situation from "More Than Fifty-Four Negi and Chisame Threesomes" as both the inspiration for this tale and the source of its title.

Decadent Habits
Part One: Arika

"There's something I have to ask you," Negi said hesitantly. He was well aware that that was starting this conversation off in what had to be one of the worst of all possible ways.

"Then ask," replied Arika, in the same calm, unchanging tone that she nearly always used.

For a moment, he considered Arika Anarchia Entheofushia, last queen of the lost land of Ostia, Queen of Calamity. His mother. A woman only slightly taller than the tallest of his students, with long blonde hair just a touch lighter than Ayaka Yukihiro's, and now, incredibly, seated seiza on the other side of the coffee table, in a skirt and sweater borrowed from Shizuna-sensei, both of which were too big for her. His mother.

Seeking clues to the whereabouts of his father, he had found his mother, rescued her, and brought her back to the academy. And here she was.

He had never permitted himself to wonder what had happened to her. Nekane-neechan had been so gentle and so kind that he could not imagine hurting her by saying that he wanted something else, a presence other than hers. And what had happened when he began to wonder what had become of his father had further soured him on such speculations.

He was so glad that Asuna-san and Konoka-san had both withdrawn to give the two of them this time together in their room, and -

"I'm waiting for that question," Arika interjected.

"Oh, my apologies. I was trying to think of the best way to put this," Negi temporized, as he had been doing no such thing.

"That you show such concern for what you would say is an admirable quality," Arika replied, with a slight shake of her head. "Please do not apologize for such qualities."

"Yes. Um. Thank you. Ah. You ... know that I have made many pacts with my students," he said, considering as he did so that he was moving from bad to worse.

"Yes," she answered. "Since I am given to understand that you wish to be like that person who was your father, you should be congratulated for achieving that goal, in part, by following in his footsteps in that manner." Just what she thought of that notion was not apparent from either her face, her tone, or her words.

Negi fought panic. Despite years of teaching girls, despite training by and alongside them, he was no closer to having an understanding of the way that their moods could change in an instant. And this girl, this woman, kept her tells so controlled as to render the most sanguine of his companions an open book by comparison. And he wanted to hurt her even less, he abruptly realized, than he had wanted to hurt Nekane-neechan.

"I ... I believe that I am very, very close to one of them. That there is one of them whom I want to be my true partner, in all ways. And ... more than that, I believe ... that I care about her, as that person who was my father, cared about you. And, even more than that, I believe that she cares about me, as you cared about him." He was blushing, fairly sure that his skin resembled his hair.

"I see. But I do not -" Arika began.

"I need to know if Asuna-san is your sister," Negi said in a rush.

"Ah," she said. Just that, and nothing else.

Negi stared at the tea set on the table between them. The gleam of its silver did nothing to settle his nerves, but he could not meet his mother's gaze as she considered his question.

Then, with an intake of breath that was too abbreviated to be called a sigh, she answered. "In a sense, she is."

Confused, he lifted his head. "In a sense?"

"In the sense that she is also the daughter of Alladia Autarkia Entheofushia, that person who was my father, yes, she is my sister. But not in other senses."

Negi sighed. Not what he had hoped for. But he had needed to know the truth. "I see," he said sadly. "She was the daughter of one of his mistresses." He could not think of that person as his grandfather, knowing of his true role in the tragedy that had wreaked -

"I was her mother," Arika said.

- such havoc ...

Slowly, he felt the red in his face go away, in such a way that he thought it would never return. "What?" he asked, not recognizing the sound of his voice.

"I was her mother," his mother repeated. "I had just lately seen my twelfth year, as reckoned by the old world, when my father decided to create a child who possessed the power of Magic Cancel. He came to me several times, and then, in the normal course of events, I was delivered of a daughter. She was taken away from me, I was told what her name would be, and I did not see her again until she was also present when you rescued me from my captivity."

Negi's jaw worked, but he made no sound. His eyes widened, but he could not see.

Silently, Arika took up her tea cup and sipped.

That gesture was the last straw, and Negi began to weep. "Oh," he said, through his sobs. "Oh, this is ... I had thought that I had seen the worst, but this is ... oh, mother, how could he ... oh, how can I -"

She crossed the distance between them in a heartbeat, wrapping one arm around him While the other reached up to pull his hands away from where they clutched his face, so that they could face each other He could see the stoic expression gone, gone utterly, and what replaced it was something that he could not understand in the slightest as she mouthed a single word. "No."

"What?" he asked again, through tears.

"No," his mother repeated. "I will not have you, of all people, thinking of me as a victim. I am no one's victim, my son. What I have done with my life is done by my own choices. Yes, my father ended my innocence. But it was my choice to continue living afterwards. That is the only choice we have, sometimes, whether to live with the consequences of what has happened or to die and escape them. I have chosen to live."

"Okaasama," he said, softly and with wonder. It was the first time he had ever called her that.

Incredibly, she blushed.

"Do ... do you hate Asuna-san? Is this why you haven't told her about any of this?" he asked.

"Why would I hate her?" Arika asked, sounding genuinely confused. "She is my child, as precious to me as you are. And she is the most important person to you, and so even more dear to me."

"But -"

"I do not hate anyone, my son. Hatred is pointless. I do not even hate that person who was my father, or the memory of him." Her eyes went distant. "What I feel is a sorrow, of sorts. Afterwards, we were no closer than we had been before that. All that I was, to him, was a vessel for his ambitions. And I was and am saddened that that was all he cared about, when I cared for him."

"Oh," Negi said, for that was all that he could think to say.

She nodded, then. "You were afraid, weren't you, that this would ruin your partnership, and your other feelings, with Asuna? Folly. I abandoned you, for reasons that I thought were good, perhaps, but I forfeited any right to approve or disapprove of what you do with your life when I did so. But even if I did have that right, I would still approve of what you feel for her."

He found his voice again. "But she is my -" Then once more lost it, as he struggled to find the word to call Asuna. Sister? Aunt? Sister-aunt?

"She is the person you care about most in all this world," Airka suggested, caressing his hair. "If you are separated from her, not a day will pass when you do not think of her. As for the rest ... what of it? As I told you, I loved my father. He did not love me, and so it brought sorrow. But when love is mutual, it brings joy. And that is never wrong. No matter what."

Again, she caressed his hair ... lingeringly, this time. "You are about twelve years old, now, aren't you?" she asked softly.

"Uh ... no, I'm, I'm eleven," Negi answered hesitantly.

"I don't think so," Arika disagreed. "That person who was your father's stalker has told me about the days you spent in her mansion, where time passes more swiftly than it does here in the old world. And you spent months in the new world that passed in days here, too. You are older than you know, my son."

Once again, she crossed the distance between them, this time moving so that their faces had no distance at all, so that their noses and lips touched. Her kiss was not like the ones he'd had from his students, or even the forceful, passionate kiss of his Master. It was like the kiss Princess Theodora had given him when they sealed their pact - hungry, searching.

And then she pulled back. "My son," she said, not breathlessly but clearly. "You must decide. If you want, I will teach you all that I know of the pleasures men and women can give each other. Or you can keep your innocence and learn these things at another time, with someone else. I will love you regardless. But I must tell you that I have never wanted anything as much as I want this, to be with the one who is the perfect combination of myself and the one I love most in all of time and space. To have this gift would make me extremely happy. Well, boya? What's it going to be? Yes or no?"

A moment later, Negi stammered something that she took for a yes, and their lips crashed together again.

He wore a belt and suspenders. It was probably proof of how cautious and prepared for anything he was. At the moment, though, Arika was only concerned with the belt, gently pulling its loose end out of the loops on the pants so as to undo the buckle. She did this with her left hand. Her right was occupied with pulling the right sleeve of her own sweater back so as to get her elbow out of it, so that she could pull her arm the rest of the way free, then lift it up and over her head. This exposed her breasts, unsupported by a bra, to Negi's eyes for the first time since he'd been weaned.

His mouth watered.

The belt opened, it was trivial for the left hand to then unbutton the button, then unzip the zipper beneath it. She paused, then, to look levelly into her son's eyes. "Negi," she said, using his proper name to address him for the first time in their acquaintance. "I can tell that you are very excited. But I will not have it that you become ... too excited, too quickly. So you must control yourself. Control your reactions. Are you ready to do that?"

Another sound taken for yes, and she leaned forward to press her nipple to his mouth, cradling his head with one hand while the other reached down to carress the strange hardness through his boxers. And abruptly he understood what she had meant. With every bit of willpower that had kept him from crying out from the pain of his injuries on other days, he fought against the reaction he did not fully comprehend, but which he knew would make her unhappy, and so he fought and held and held.

"Good," she said, nudging him over to the other breast as she stopped caressing the front of the boxers, and pulled their elastic back and down, and control, control, control as the fingers of her hand wrapped around that hardness, first tightly, then more loosely, then shifting up and down and up and down.

"My son," his mother said, "you have done well. So when I do what I do next, you may let go. All right?" She pulled back, pulling his mouth away from her breasts, paying no heed to his groan. Not even she could take this sound for yes, but it mattered little at this point, as she bent down and took him in her mouth.

And there was a great unleashing.

She waited until his ejaculations finished, then swallowed, pulled back, licked her lips, cleared her throat, and pulled the elastic of his boxers back up to cover the wilted hardness. Then, and only then, did she look down on his stunned face with a gentle smile, and say, "Well done."

"Th-th-th-," replied Negi.

"You've had the practicum. Now for some theory," Arika continued. "Proper terminology is important. In this, you must be sure not to refer to this -" Again, she gently pressed a finger to the front of his boxers. "- as anything other than a cock. Not a penis, not a manhood, certainly not a hardness. It is a cock."

She stood up from where she had been leaning on the floor, and unhooking the sinches that had kept her borrowed skirt tight around the waist, so that it dropped to the floor around her bare feet. "And this," she said, displaying the nakedness that should have been covered by panties, "must be called a cunt. It is my cunt. It is the cunt from whence you came. It is the cunt into which you will soon come again."

"Ahhhh," said Negi, eyes wider if possible. So like his father, losing language at times like this.

"No, not immediately. That's enough for the first lesson. I think we could both stand a nap, now ..."

Much later, when Asuna finally came back to the dorm room and found it apparently, she checked on Negi's nook first, as was her invariant custom. It only took a moment for her to realize where he was when she saw he wasn't there, and with a mild groan, she turned to look at her bed. As expected, he had crawled in beside his mother and was cradled up with her, her clothes - she had gone from Shizuna-sensei's sweater to a spare pair of Asuna's own pyjamas - somewhat disarranged.

Typical, Asuna thought ... and then, for no reason she understood, felt tears rolling down her face.

She was sure that she made no noise, but Arika came gradually awake as she watched, and with the hand which wasn't cradling Negi so that his head rested against her breasts, made a gesture which most people would have read as 'come hither'.

Asuna, being Asuna and thus Asuna, misread the gesture, blushed, and ducked down to hide in Konoka's bed. It wouldn't be the first time she'd slept there, after all, and Konoka and Setsuna would probably be out all night, and this was more comfortable, and why wouldn't the tears stop coming?

Above, Arika mastered her disappointment. It was an act that she was used to. But there would be time. Her daughter-sister would join with her and her son, eventually, and her shattered family would once more become whole. And perhaps, she thought wantonly, it would even grow. And so she drifted to sleep with dreams of her grandchildren/nieces-and-nephews and grandchildren/children dancing through her thoughts.

NEXT: Setsuna