Standard issue disclaimer: Akamatsu Ken created and owns Negima. I am not him. This is a parody, protected speech. Thanks to my cowriters and the reviewers.

This is a special collaboration between myself and OverMaster. It takes place about three weeks after Chapter 31 of Decadent Habits, so if you haven't read that, you'll be spoiling yourself by reading this. So go read that and then come back and finish this. Assuming that it's still here when you get back ...

Decadent Habits
Chapter 31.5 - Chisame Redux

"Mother, we need to talk," Chisame had said over the phone.

The last time her daughter had called, she'd started with those same exact words, in a very similar tone, and it had ended with Sora being slapped and Chisame leaving in a tearful dash into the rain. Hasegawa just knew it wouldn't end right this time, either. But she couldn't escape it. She had fled her own faults and their consequences for far too long, and now they had hit home in her daughter's life. So she'd simply take it all like a woman.

She prepared the tea, knowing it was the boy's favorite drink, and even made snacks while holding her tears back. Once, she had been known as "the lethal chef of Nekomi Tech", but practice and motherhood had made her an adequate cook, if nothing else.

She also called Morisato-sempai again, after so long, and asked him for his advice. He only sighed. "Sora, we always told to be honest with her from the start."

"What's done is done. I need to know what to do now, Sempai," she still kept on calling him that, even years after graduation. "I am... I am just plain scared..."

He sighed again. "Hold on there. I'll go get Belldandy. She's much better with giving advice than I am."

Even Belldandy-sempai's advice, while sound and heartfelt, hadn't been that helpful this time. Then again, what could ever help, in such a hopeless situation?

"I'm bringing Negi-sensei and his mother," Chisame had added, somewhat reluctantly, and Sora had not had the willpower to protest.


That man's wife. His real soul-mate. Nagi's actual beloved.

Sora sat down to sob quietly as she waited. "Why did you have to love me, if you loved her more? We should have remained only friends."

No, she told herself, wiping away her tears. Then she wouldn't have Chisame. And Chisame would always be her pride, the only thing she ever did right. No matter what her daughter ever did, she'd always be her most important thing. Always.

The doorbell rang. Sora checked her eyes weren't too red one final time, breathed deeply, and walked stiffly for the door, opening it for them.

"Hello, mother." Chisame was wearing a simple black shirt with blue jeans, her tone much meeker and more humble than usual, as if savoring the bitter taste of shame beforehand.

"Hasegawa-san." The boy bowed. She had only met him once before, during last year's parents meeting. Back then, she had succesfully hidden her mixed feelings upon meeting him, but now, having him so close, at her own home, she couldn't help but freeze in place. He was so much like his father. Only smaller, and more innocent looking. It pained her, just to look at him.

But seeing that woman for the first time pained her even more.

She was so tall, and so gorgeous, compared to her own small, ordinary, mousy self. Just by seeing her at long last, it made Sora immediately wonder how Nagi could have even noticed her, when he had such a woman waiting for him elsewhere. Never before had she felt so insignificant as she did under the even, quiet gaze of those mismatched eyes.

"Good afternoon, Hasegawa Sora-sama," the third visitor said. Even her voice was collected and powerful, a far cry from her own stammering, low and clumsy voice.

"Ah, ah, Arika-sama." She bowed back, unsure of how to react to the unexpected honorific coming from Arika's mouth. "I am, um, so very pleased to have you here. Please come in. You and your son are welcome here, I only regret not having more to offer you." The insincerity felt like a scorching knife twisting inside herself, as the three of them came into the house, and she closed the door behind them.

She escorted them into the living room and gestured somewhat helplessly at the mismatched furniture. "Please, sit any-" Sora started to say as her three visitors quickly sat down around the square table in the middle of the room, one on each side. Chisame, then Negi, then the tall blonde queen. It was almost choreographed. "Ah, yes, that will be fine," she continued as she sat down herself on the free side of the tables

And then there was silence. Chisame looked as though she wanted to say something, but was clearly fighting barely concealed panic that kept her from doing so. Negi wasn't looking at Sora, instead looking down at his hands which were folded in his lap. Arika was quietly regarding Sora without a word, those strange, mismatched eyes revealing nothing.

It was probably contrary to dozens of rules of etiquette that she'd never mastered, but Sora decided that she had to take the initiative if this conversation was ever to get going. "Negi ... sensei," she said, rejecting -kun and -san quickly. "Thank you for always looking after my -"

"Oh god," Negi murmured in English.

"Please, no, no small talk, mother, I don't think I can take it under the circumstances," Chisame finally burst.

"I'm sorry, dear," Sora replied faintly.

"And no apol- no. No, this won't ..." She trailed off, shaking her head. Then drew in a deep breath. "I think I'm pregnant," Chisame said, eyes firmly closed.

That had not been anything Sora had been expecting, and she felt her jaw drop. "Eh?"

"I think I'm - I missed my last period, and -"

"Maybe, maybe it's just a little late," Sora interrupted, trying to put the best possible face on the horrid situation.

Chisame proceeded as though she hadn't heard this helpful interjection. "- and so I took a test and -"

"Those things are inaccurate."

Her daughter stole a glance at Arika's face. "This one isn't," Chisame said quietly.

"I see," said Sora, who did. A magical pregnancy test. Of course there would be such things. Of course there would. "I see," she said again, then turned to look at Negi, who was still looking down at his hands. "This must be very embarassing for you, Negi-sensei, having to talk to one of your students' mothers about this sort of thing," she said, wincing inwardly at the implied insult.

And now it was Negi's turn to draw in a deep breath as he finally looked up from his hands to meet Sora's gaze with those eyes so like his father's. "Yes," he said. "But I'm not here just as a teacher. Or as Chisame's brother. I'm ..." He trailed off, lifting his hands up to rest them on the table as through trying to draw strength from it.

And Chisame, seeing it, rested one of her hands on one of his, in a gesture of unmistakable intimacy.

Sora blinked.

"Mother," Chisame said. "Negi is -"

"No." She could barely make the word out, as her eyes bulged in a nearly grotesque way behind her glasses. Her face had just become a pale masque, and her hands had clenched into fists.

All in all, she was taking it better than Chisame had expected. "Yes," the girl dared to reply, nodding only once, looking down meekly. "I'm sorry, Mother. But I've decided to have this baby. I don't expect you to approve, or even understand, but I can't deny my - "

"No!" Sora covered her ears, a scared young woman again. "Don't say that! Don't ever say such things! He's your brother, Chisame! And he's just a child! Please, I know you think I've failed you, but don't punish me like this! Think of yourself, and even of him! And you!" She turned to Arika, completely forgetting her earlier fear of the woman. "Y-You can't possibly approve of this, either!"

"I do," was the other woman's simple answer.

"Eh? Eh?" Sora blinked several times, not believing her ears. "No. What?"

And then, quite suddenly, the mousy insipid woman did what almost every woman does in defense of her progeny. She became a roaring juggernaut, surging up from where she sat on the floor. The look on her face prompted silent panic from Chisame and Negi. Arika did not even flinch as she stood up as well.

Sora stared up into the other woman's face and seething furiously. "Now listen, you, Mistress Queen, Princess, Duchess or whatever you may be!" she shouted. "I don't care if you have all the powers in the world, I'm not going to stand idly as you try to pull this, this crime against these children! Your own son, even! I don't know what your customs are like, but I know that your son was raised here on Earth, and I'm pretty sure he couldn't have reached this decision by himself at such a young age!"

"Mother, please!" Chisame tried to plead.

Arika lifted a hand. "Let her speak her mind. This is her home and her world. And you are her family."

"Exactly!" Sora sputtered with a rage she'd never imagined in herself. She turned to her daughter. "You are aware you're still under my care, don't you? That I could, right now, this instant, pull you out of Mahora and ship you off to a different boarding school on the other side of the country? And that I'd have every right to do so, to save you from this, this debacle?"

"Of course I know that." Chisame looked aside, at Negi, her cheeks red as her hand tightened on his. He immediately squeezed it in support. Her voice grew steadier. "And I would never hold it against you, Mother. But know this: the very second I'm of age to leave that school, I'll go right back to his side. No matter where could he be, no matter the distance or the dangers, I'll return to his side."

Sora grew paler, her hands trembling. "What -"

Arika placed a hand on her right shoulder. "Listen, please."

Sora shook the hand off as if it were coated with poison. "Don't touch me! What have you poured into my daughter's mind? Why did you - you - " She started crying, trying to reach for Arika's shoulders (or possibly neck) but her hands fell to her own sides instead.

"You show up at my house, our house, out of nowhere, and then dump this on me. I know I've made far too many mistakes to deserve happiness, but I don't want Chisame to fall even lower than I have! I'm so horribly sorry I ever stole your beloved, even if only for a while! But please, please, don't take my little girl away! She's the only thing I have in this gray, miserable life of mine!" She was begging now, hands lifted up and clenched in supplication.

"Mother," Chisame whispered. She'd never expected this.

"Hasegawa-san, we don't - " Negi began.

Arika placed her hands on the sobbing woman's shoulders, her voice comforting and smooth. "I hold no grudge against you, Hasegawa Sora-sama. Regardless of what you may think. I believe Nagi loved you for a valid reason. Like your daughter, you are made of stronger steel than you ever would have suspected. You know who I am, and what I am capable of, even now. You know who my allies are, and what they could do to someone like you. And yet you stand up to me, without fear or hesitation. You are brave, and I can see why Nagi would see the precious worth in you."

The shorter woman shook her hands off again. "S-Stop it. It won't work. I won't sell my daughter for your cheap praise."

"Cheap?" Now Arika actually sounded offended. "Know this: I give no praise lightly. Nothing disgusts me more than lies made to flatter the unworthy. Your views may differ from mine, but they still merit respect. No doubt, they are far more socially acceptable; far more in this world or the other would agree with you than with me. And yet, this is not about my decisions or values. It is about those of your daughter, and my son.

"They are not children anymore, Hasegawa Sora. They are far too illustrious for that. They needed to grow up fast, as their destiny commands. Already, they have saved another world, and perhaps this one as well while doing so. Regardless of their short age, they can make their own decisions, and have settled for the one you have just heard."

Sora shook her head stubbornly. "Don't try to confuse me. Why do you do this to us? This is a horrible crime against nature and the sacred ties of blood!"

"Nature," Arika began, "must not dictate Man's fate. Because mankind's triumph is to rise above nature's dictates, and those imposed by the generations before ours. We ask not for your full approval, but for your understanding of the circumstances leading to this. I believe you should be enlightened about the roots of the bond between your daughter and my son. Negi."

"Yes, Mother?" he asked warily.

"Please show her everything you went through in my homeworld. Teach her exactly why would your students hold you so close to their hearts. Show her everything you did for them."

"Only... if she is willing to allow it," he said, shyly looking for the older Hasegawa's eyes.

After a brief moment of doubt, the divorced woman nodded with reborn resolution.

"Very well. I wish to know everything that happened to my daughter ... and yes, to you too ... over there."

It was unlike anything she'd ever seen before.

Once, Nagi had - with an uncharacteristic hesitancy - offered her a trip through his own memories. Sora had ended up rejecting it, saying she trusted his word, and it wouldn't be right to nose into his past like that. He'd said he had nothing to hide from her, but Sora still turned the offer down. She'd regretted it later after he left, and so she wouldn't let the chance escape this time.

So she now stood naked save for her glasses in the middle of a perfect mental recreation of the Magical World. The utter beauty of that place amazed her. Much like the sovereign who hailed from it, it was majestic and unearthly, intimidating but also overwhelming, captivating and yet clearly dangerous.

Already, she had seen the attack at the Gateport, gasping aloud when she saw Negi being mortally wounded, his life only saved by Konoka's timely intervention. Now she was seeing him saving her daughter from a hideous tentacled beast. After that, she witnessed him fighting in a gladiatoral arena, and how Chisame following him to his training under Jack Rakan, that man Nagi had told her about a few times.

She watched, time and time again, how he risked his life and strained his body beyond the limits of any grown man for the sakes of her daughter and her classmates. Sora couldn't help being horrified; Nagi's stories had made her fear for him in her time, but seeing by herself the kind of dangers a battle mage was exposed to was much more shocking. She felt tears trickling down her eyes as she witnessed every taxing bit of training, every brutal fight, every heart wrenching sacrifice they all made for each other.

And yet what amazed her the most, out of all of that, was something so much smaller. She watched as the boy surged up from unconsciousness, forcing himself out of an imaginary paradise to return to battle, and saw him look down at his students, including Chisame. And saw her looking up at him, and smiling. Her daughter never smiled; after her infancy, she had always been sour and unhappy, save for when she was putting on a role, and even then her smiles were fake and affected, or angry and cynical.

This wasn't. This was pure. This was joyful.

As the experience ended, she noticed the tears were leaking out of her real eyes as well, and she rubbed them off with the back of a hand. "Y-You ..." she stammered, placing shaking hands on Negi's shoulders, "... Y-You shouldn't have lived through all of that. You're still only a child! Oh dear, your innocence has been shattered in all senses. Every child has a right to a normal childhood. Why has life been so harsh to you?"

Negi's eyes were shadowed as he answered. "I don't know. I have asked that question myself quite a bit of late, in fact, without receiving an answer. But perhaps it doesn't really matter. 'That which we are, we are,'" he said, with the air of one quoting something. "I am the only one who can walk this path on which my feet are set. There is no one else. And at least, I do not walk alone."

Arika spoke next. "The happiness to be gained from life does not rely on what life offers us, but on what we make of it, Hasegawa Sora-sama. Despite what you may believe, I, too, have known sorrow in my life. I was robbed of my innocence at the age of twelve, endured the destruction of much that I held dear, and spent years imprisoned unjustly. For all that, my only significant regret is not being there for my children's upbringing."

Her lips twisted in a sad smile. "In that sense, I confess, I envy you. And perhaps, had I spent those years with them, I would not be able to share carnal contact with them. But there is no point on reflecting on such impossibilities."

Sora turned her tearful face towards the other woman, shocked at the casual mention of rape. "You, you were ... at twelve!"

She simply nodded. "By own my father. And, yes, I have been asked if that should not turn me against the intimacy I enjoy with my own children. But it is precisely the wish, to make sure they do not lead the same kind of unpleasant, unloving sexual life I led in my own adolescence, that moves me to do what I do. Well, partially, at least," she conceded.

Sora's pale lips trembled. "Oh God. Oh, dear God."

"Hasegawa-sama. Sora," Arika went on, dropping the honorific. "Our children already have given themselves to each other. They love each other, in their own way. At this point, pulling them apart will solve nothing, instead only bringing them more pain."

"I should have stopped this from the start," Sora droned, despairingly. "Morisato-sempai was always right. I shouldn't have forced her to live a lie. Now it's too late to turn back. Chisame, forgive me. For putting you on this path without knowing it, although I should have -"

Chisame sighed, giving her a hug. "No, you forgive me, Mother. I also lied and hid secrets from you. I can't blame you if you hate me after this -"

"No, don't say that! You're my only child, the only person I still love!" Sora clung to her, needy and broken. "I don't care if you commit all the sins in the world, I'll still love you. And you have been brave, far braver than I ever could be. You're more your father's daughter than mine. I'm sorry I never told you about him."

"We always can start now," Chisame whispered, both of them holding each other closer. Then they both lifted their faces to say something, but their lips ended up brushing instead.

Mother and daughter recoiled from that touch, blushing deeply. Arika only smirked knowingly, as Negi stared on, not really getting it despite all he had been through. Some traces of childlike naivete and slowness in recognizing the signs still remained in him.

"Sora," Arika said, leaning closer to the other mother.


"It has been far too long since either of us claimed the lips of our mutual beloved, has it not?"

"Yes," Sora voiced her sorrow, not meeting that steady gaze.

"And yet, we still could find the flavor left by those lips, somewhere else." She lifted Sora's head up with both hands, looking for consent in her eyes. She smiled sweetly, actually, and yet with obvious sensuality, the likes of which Sora had only ever seen in Urd-san.

"You mean -"

Arika's intoxicating breath blew softly on her face as she spoke, her voice silky and enticing. "Neither of us is him, but we are all part of what he was, of what he carried in his heart. I am willing to enjoy your company as long as you enjoy mine - or rather, ours - as well. Reject it, and I will think nothing of it. Still, it would please me greatly if I could verify for myself what kind of virtue Nagi enjoyed in you."

For a moment, the shorter woman only stared up at her in horror, trembling like a puppy, before her lips parted open, and a whisper escaped them. "Likewise."

"Mother!" Chisame breathed out, as Negi gulped loudly.

"All these years, I couldn't help wondering what kind of woman you were," Sora admitted. "I knew you had to be something wonderful, greater than life, from everything he ever told me about you, and he didn't lie. Your ways scare me, and yet I can't look away from them, or you. Now I understand Chisame's path; you, just like him, are impossible to resist, no matter how wrong it may be..."

Arika caressed her cheeks with her thumbs. "Do you think it is really wrong?"


"But do you care?" she asked again.

There was a long hesitation before Sora shook her head. "No."

And then she hugged her, leaning forward to crash her lips against hers, forgetting all prudence, all morality, everything but the long buried need burning inside of her, and the wonderfully sweet and spicy flavor of that mouth. It actually didn't taste like Nagi's; it had been too long since then. But it still tasted so wonderful.

Arika smiled inwardly, even as her hands began to skillfully pull Sora's jacket back and off.

Chisame and Negi's eyes were perfectly round as they mutely watched their mothers kissing passionately, their hands taking off piece after piece of clothing. Sora's hands trembled and hesitated most of the time, while Arika's were confident, precise in their movements. The results were still the same, though, as both women were getting naked at an alarmingly fast rate.

Chisame had never imagined her mousy, meek, bland and boring mother could ever look sexy or passionate, but Arika seemed to have that effect on people, from the nerdy Hakase to the normally just adorable Negi. In that way, yes, she was like Evangeline, Chisame guessed. If that was a good or bad thing remained to be seen, but no matter what, it still was impossible to look away from it. Even for them.

Arika had fully bared Sora's torso, running her tongue in circles all over her small breasts as she pinned her down against the floor, holding the struggling smaller woman still. Sora blushed deeply, remembering that yes, those were their children watching them, and yes, that was bad, to put it mildly. "N-No ... w-we can't do this ..."

"Your mouth says no." Arika leaned down to kiss and lick her mouth, making small obscene slurping sounds, "But your eyes and your body say yes." Chisame found herself wondering if Arika had ever watched any porn movies, or if such phrasing was just something that came naturally with being a sexual predator. (Perhaps both things were true.) "You're only giving token, absent signs of struggle. You know you don't want for this to stop."

Sora groaned as Arika's lapping mouth moved down her belly, her hands undoing her skirt and pulling it down, then doing the same to her panties. "Kyaaa ... Arika-sama, no ... please, that's my daughter there watching ..."

"Do you happen to have any problem with this, Chisame?" Arika asked, not bothering to look up.

"None at all." She shook her head, maybe a bit too fast.

"And you, my son?"

Negi shook his head as well, with a blush and some more reluctance.

"C-Chisame!" Sora gasped, only to gasp when Arika's head dove in between her legs, her tongue meeting Sora's lower entrance. "Oh! Oh my god! This can't be happening. This can't - " She gritted her teeth, her hands clutching on the couch as Arika rapidly began an expert stacatto of tongue work, the former mechanic's voice growing unable to protest coherently.

Chisame breathed in, breathed out, and, not able anymore to hold herself back, knelt down next to Arika, taking a hold of her long skirt and sliding it down her slender legs. She gave a come hither look at Negi, who gulped. By now, it took him less and less to get the clues. Then, with a sigh, he began to undress.

Chisame massaged Arika's full, soft and round buttocks between both hands; they were very pale, almost rosy in tone, with only a slight hint of the sag caused by aging. Then she reached over with her tongue, tentatively licking Arika's vagina, just as Arika herself was doing to Chisame's mother.

"Ah," Arika sighed. "This, this is what some call a 'daisy chain', Negi," she said. Chisame was inexpert enough to be unable to bring her to incoherence yet, but at the very least, her enthusiasm was commendable. "You may remember seeing something similar during our celebration before -"

"Uh-huh," Negi interrupted, neither needing nor wanting a reminder of that episode. Now naked, he finished stripping Chisame bare as well, positioning himself behind her as Sora watched on with glassy, wide eyes, her breathing coming out in loud puffs.

He quickly debated abandoning the task at hand, under the glare of those eyes. Since that day, he had tried very hard to avoid this sort of thing, especially with his students. And yet, here he was again, engaged not only with one of his dearest companions but also with her mother. But if he were to back down, now, he would only hurt that beloved friend, soon to be the mother of his child. So, with great care, he began to penetrate Chisame from behind, making her moan into Arika's crotch.

The sight of it made Sora orgasm right then and there. "Oh! Ah! Ah, ah! Ahh!"

It was as if history was repeating itself. First her and Nagi, now her daughter and his son. Okay, so it also was his daughter and his son, but somehow, it didn't seem to matter that much now.

As though reading her mind, Arika's smile grew as she looked up from between Sora's spread thighs. Pausing briefly to kiss Sora on the hipbone, she spoke languidly. "Hmmm. Perhaps we should cut out the middleman, as it were?"

"Eh?" Sora and Chisame said, very nearly in stereo.

"N-no," Sora continued nervously. "No, I don't -"

"It was not I who gave you that climax," Arika said. "I have not yet begun to make love to you. It was what you saw, not what you felt, which brought you to that height. You know this to be the truth."

"But, but I don't -" Chisame gasped as Negi heedlessly pounded away behind her.

"How is it different from what you have done with your sisters, or with -" Arika started to ask, glancing behind her as she rolled up into a seated position, cutting off Chisame's access to her core.

"That's, that's not the same!" the girl interrupted.

Sisters? thought Sora. Nagi had had other daughters? She wasn't sure whether that made her feel better or worse about her situation, but the realization that her own daughter had been doing all these things, and at an age when Sora herself had been too scared to even look at boys, was a disturbing one.

It also distracted her long enough for Arika to wheel around behind her, her hips on either side of Sora's buttocks, her hands resting firmly on Sora's knees and keeping her legs spread. "Come here, Chisame, dear," the former queen said in a tone both sensuous and forceful.

Almost without conscious thought, Chisame moved forward, pulling Negi with her, until there was almost no space between herself and her mother. But she stopped before she touched her, once again recoiling, but nowhere nearly as violently as before. And Sora could see that her daughter was looking down at her, in particular at her breasts, and the nipples that she had once fed from. Her lips twitched.

Dry mouthed, Sora found herself speaking. "Chiu-chan," she said, using the girl's childhood nickname. "If, if you don't want to, that's okay. B-but if you, if you do ... you are very, very beautiful, Chiu-chan."

Chisame was paralyzed for a moment, then her lips twitched again. "I love you mommy," she said in a tiny, childish voice, and then bent down to take one of Sora's nipples in her mouth. Sora gasped at the sensation, both of that touch and of the pressure of her daughter's fingers at the junction of her legs, as well.

"Well done," Arika murmured into the other woman's ear, gently caressing her sides as Chisame began to kiss her way down Sora's stomach. "You and I are more alike than you realize."

Sora honestly wasn't sure how she felt about that notion, but she didn't have time to think about it as her mind was seized by the horrific and yet oh so wonderful sensation of her daughter's breath on her clitoris. It had been so long since that one night with Urd, right after Toshiyuki had walked away again, and this was so much like that and yet so very different as well.

For his part, Negi was simply pounding away behind Chisame - not too hard; certainly not as hard as Mana enjoyed even when they didn't go all-out - and occasionally bending forward to rub at her breasts with his hands, or caress between her legs. It was almost monotonous for him. But it was making her happy, judging by the faint cries she let out while performing cunnilingus on her mother. And that was what mattered, after all.

But he was starting to wonder whether that was really true.

Now, though, was not the time for such considerations, as he felt the tension that told him that his own climax was near. A gentleman, however, should always insist upon ladies first, so he quickly sped up his attentions to Chisame's clitoris. As she shuddered in orgasmic release that transmitted up to her mother, whose head pitched backwards in sensation, Negi permitted his own ejaculation. Ordinarily, he would have asked whether he should pull out or not, but since she was presently enjoying the only certain form of contraception - already being pregnant - it seemed superfluous.

He fell back, breathing just a bit heavily. Well, now he could rest ...

... orrrr not, he realized as he felt a trio of tongues caressing his stiffening phallus. Clearly, the encounter was far from over.

Negi leaned back, supporting his back against a wall, and relinquishing control over the whole situation to the three women. He'd never been given fellatio by three females all at once, and the novelty of this particular experience somehow gave it more interest than usual, enough to make it actually enjoyable after a few moments, briefly overcoming his jaded thoughts on the subject.

He moaned a bit, watching how the three tongues ran all over it, up and down, shamelessly caressing each other as well in the proccess. Unconsciously, he began swinging his hips softly to meet their mouths, until Arika gestured for Chisame to back away with her, allowing Sora full solo access. After a short moment of hesitation, the bespectacled woman took him into her mouth, sucking him slowly, trying to do it the way Nagi liked it.

The way he groaned, placing his hands on her hair, to guide it gently, told her she was rather out of practice, but that only spurred her to improve. Her hands caressed his small hairless testicles, and she intensified the pace, trying to make him climax. Arika, however, had other plans, as proved when the queen pulled Sora back, her mouth making a disappointed sund she barely recognized as her own while leaving Negi's boyhood bathed in saliva.

Arika slid two fingers into Sora's most private cavity and pistoned them a few times softly, trying to loosen the nervous woman's entrance. She whispered in the divorced female's ear. "Is it safe?"

"I ..." she trailed off and gulped. "I just finished my most recent period, so yes, I think it's safe."

"Well, that's both a relief and a shame." Arika's voice was husky and crooning. "As I see it, motherhood is always a joy, but your people seem to think differently, so this should allow you do this with a clearer mind."

Sora nodded jerkily. "Yes. Right." Oddly, the hideous idea of bearing the child of the same boy who had impregnated her daughter, of being pregnant at the same time as her, was starting to sound almost like a sadly wasted chance right now. She licked her lips and, after a brief push forward from Arika, sat on Negi's lap, sighing. "Negi-kun," she breathed.

"Hasegawa-san," he panted raggedly, hugging her body. "Mother."

She moaned, allowing herself slid down just as he carefully thrusted up, penetrating her under Chisame's morbidly fascinated glare.

"Ah. Ah, ah ah ah! Ah!" Sora supported herself on her hands, arching her back as Negi increased his pace bit by bit, craning his neck up to lick her erect small nipples. He had a feeling he wouldn't hold back for much longer, and wanted to bring the woman to a quick climax before his stamina ran out.

As he saw her melting in her arms, calling both his name and his father's, her petite breasts bouncing up and down in rythm with his thrusts, he tried to recapture the joy of doing it. He tried to remember Asuna's advice on just enjoying it all, on forgetting the worries while being with another.

That was a painful thought.

There was a time and a place for everything. Nekane-neechan had been fond of a song about that.

That was a more painful thought.

Worrying about serious matters in the middle of intimacy was like worrying about English lessons in the middle of a fight. That made sense, right? A time for every purpose under heaven. Yes. Right now, just enjoy and make her enjoy it.

He thrusted harder, and that was enough to push her over the brink, making her a quivering and screaming limp in his arms. Thanking the heavens for it, he was finally able to exert himself to the limit, splurting out as much as he could, resting his head against her pale stomach, breathing in and out noisily, forehead glistening with sweat.

"Oh my god..." Sora whispered weakly, falling on her back and pulling him down her herself, cradling him into her arms, and gesturing for Chisame to join into the embrace. Silently, her daughter obeyed, just as Arika lay on Negi's other side, caressing his flanks and kissing his head, complimenting him in whispers.

Negi said nothing.

For a time they all rested together on the floor, before the chill of August gave them cause to restore their clothes. Sora had seen the finger snap gesture that Arika employed then, and supposed that she was right to not be surprised that the other woman could use such magic as well as her husband.

"Let us now move on to matters more serious," Arika said when they were once more gathered around the table.

"I'm going to have to drop out of school," Chisame interjected, once again deciding to skip the expected small talk.

"What?" Sora balked. "I don't think so!"

"You can probably withdraw the rest of my tuition for this year," Chisame continued, avoiding her mother's gaze. "That should -"

"It's not about the money! You can't just quit your education like -"

"When they find out that I'm pregnant, I'll get expelled anyway!" the girl said. "And considering everything, they'll look at -" She broke off, glancing at Negi shamefacedly, before continuing. "- and that won't do. So I'm going to have to drop out, and move back here with you. I'll have to start high school a little later than I was planning, but ..." She trailed off.

"I find myself in agreement with your mother," Arika picked up the conversation. "We need to find a better way than that. When I was pregnant with Negi, I employed certain enchanted disguises to conceal it so that our enemies would not believe me to be weakened or vulnerable. These would not be inexpensive, but -"

"But if anything disrupted them, I'd be right back where I started. And a lot of things could go wrong over the next nine months to make that happen."

"Time is the problem," Negi murmured. "I wish Master were still with us. Her resort would make that problem a lot easier to solve."

Sora blinked. "Resort? When you talk about this 'master' ... do you mean Evangeline?"

Arika turned sharply to look at the other woman. "Nagi told you about her?" she asked, frowning. "He didn't talk about her with me until I asked, and I only learned of his battle with her through other sources."

"When I asked about what he was doing for the Headmaster at Mahora, he told me everything," Sora replied, undaunted by Arika's expression. The thought that Nagi had been more forthcoming with her than with her buoyed up her self-confidence a bit. "And I thought that turning her into a child was a bit cruel, so he told me about her resort, where time slowed down. That's possible?" she asked, abruptly. "I wasn't sure whether to believe that part of it."

"It's possible," Arika confirmed, frown not fading. "But creating such artifacts is a magic more potent than any of us can use, and those who can use it might ask still higher prices for their assistance. Further, they would attract unwelcome - where are you going?"

"The kitchen," Sora said, having gotten up and started walking away. "Please excuse me for a moment."

If magic wouldn't do it ... then it was time to try engineering.

In complete silence, she took down the largest pot from the shelf above the sink, and filled it with water. The silence was broken as she grunted while carrying the heavy pot over to the stovetop, but she didn't say anything. That was important. The words had to be chosen carefully, and Sora considered them for a moment before she decided what to say.

"Skuld-san, I'm calling in the solid you owe me," Sora said at last, and closed her eyes.

Too late. The dark-haired teenage form was surging up out of the water even as her eyelids descended. She didn't like seeing that happen. The magic Nagi had shown her had defied her understanding, but his description of how it worked seemed based in a rational world view at least. That could not be said for this way in which water became a medium through which a person moved from one point to another without crossing the space in between.

"Well, I'll be glad to finally - hey, why are your eyes closed?" asked a cheery voice from in front of her.

"No reason," she said as she opened them to find Skuld sitting on the edge of the stovetop, knees dangling down in front of it. She looked almost completely unchanged from the last time Sora had seen her, still wearing the white garments with red lining, but in fact there were a few changes. The tattoos on her face looked slightly different. But this wasn't the time for such considerations.

"Come on down from there, I need to introduce you to my daughter and some friends of hers," Sora continued.

"Okay," Skuld said agreeably as she hopped down. She seemed to be in a very chipper mood for once. "Gee, Chisame-chan must be all grown up now."

"It's only been about nine years since you last saw her, actually," Sora demurred as she led the small goddess of the future towards the living room.

"Really? It felt more like twelve or so ... where does the time go?" Skuld wondered aloud.

Since Sora often felt the same way, she didn't voice an answer. "Um, this is an old friend of mine -" she started to say as the others turned to look at her.

And then broke off as Arika promptly fell to the floor and began genuflecting in Skuld's direction while speaking in a language Sora had never heard before. From what she could see of it, the queen's face was ashen.

Negi and Chisame looked just as startled as Sora was by all of this. "Mother, what in the world -" Negi started to ask.

"Zttt!" said Arika without looking at him, and then resumed her unintelligible speech.

"Well, this is sort of unexpected," Skuld said after a moment.

"What is she -" Sora asked.

"She apparently thinks that I'm the Moirae Atropos, and, having some strange ideas about what that personage does, is asking me to visit the punishment for her sins on her alone," the goddess answered casually. "I guess they conflated Atropos and Nemesis in Vespertatia."

"Well, can't you tell her that you're not this Atropos person?" Sora asked. It was honestly a bit satisfying to see Arika brought to this humiliating state, but they did have some things to do.

"That's a little bit tricky," Skuld replied. "But ..." She trailed off, and then began speaking in the same language as Arika, causing the former queen to stop talking and listen. "Nornae Skuld," were the only words that Sora could make out, but whatever she said, it got Arika to get up from the genuflectory pose and sit seiza instead. Her eyes periodically darted from Skuld's calm face to Sora's, and her expression was still deeply startled.

It was very satisfying on one level, even though Sora couldn't really see what the big deal was about her being familiar with a goddess ...

"So what you need is basically a stable singularity with a normal gravity 'chamber' inside the event horizon," Skuld said, reviewing the notes she'd taken.

"Yes, I suppose that's a good description," Sora agreed. "We -"

"Okay, I'll just go get some stuff I'm going to need to put it together," Skuld continued brusquely as she stood up.

"Uh, aren't you going to ask why we need it?" the ex-mechanic asked, a little startled by how quickly things were moving along.

Skuld looked at her oddly. "When you helped me, you didn't ask why I needed you to do things."


"Um, just a moment," said Negi, striving to keep up with this conversation. Understandably, physics wasn't one of his strong suits. When one can defy what are generally thought of as laws of nature, understanding those laws is seldom a priority. But he had picked up a few things over the last little while, particularly after Satomi had started lending him science fiction stories.

So he felt inclined to ask for confirmation. "A singularity is what they call a black hole, correct?"

"It's technically the other way around, but, yes," Skuld answered. "Time is distorted by a sufficiently large amount of gravity, like you encounter inside the event horizon of a singularity. By controlling the gravity you experience, you feel like time is passing at a normal rate, even though it's actually sped up dramatically. And of course, you aren't crushed into subatomic particles."

"Oh," said Negi, and gulped. "And this is how all time distortion areas work?"

"There's other ways, but this is easiest. The others take a lot more start-up time."

"I see," he said faintly. "Thank you." Despite his unease at discovering exactly what they were about to go through, he felt a bit relieved to be talking to a woman who didn't seem to be even remotely -

And then he saw the look she was giving him from the corner of her eye as she turned back to talk to Sora again. "I'll be back in just a bit," she said, and he was sure that he wasn't imagining the faint note of promise in her tone.

With a serious effort, he stopped himself from sighing as she walked back into the kitchen.

"So let me get this straight," Chisame said dryly, the first words she'd spoken since being introduced to the young divinity. "My babysitter from when I was in kindergarten is a goddess."

"Yes, that's Skuld-san," Sora agreed.

"And that lady you went out drinking with sometimes is a goddess."

"Urd-san," Sora confirmed, blushing a bit at those memories.

"And Morisato-san's wife, the nice lady I met that one time, is also a goddess."

Her mother just nodded.

"That last one just doesn't surprise me somehow," Chisame muttered, then let out a groan. "My life was never normal, was it?"

"Well, I didn't find out about any of this until after you were born, so I suppose that technically - oh. Well, when you add who your father actually was into it, then no, I suppose that it wasn't. I'm sorry."

She waved the apology away. "It figures."

Arika, who appeared to have regained most of her former elan with Skuld's departure, nodded soberly. "Indeed, it does," she said. "Not only your own qualities, but those of your associates, informed Nagi's choice of you, Sora."

That made Sora blink. "You mean that he knew?"

"I think it most likely," Arika replied. "He was not a particularly god-bothered individual, but he would not have missed the signs that are there to see. And when I consider with whom Chisame's other half-sister in this country was left, a pattern begins to emerge of ensuring that his children will be protected."

"Well, that's nice, I guess," Sora said, just a bit put out by this. She was uncomfortable enough with the thought of being the other woman. The thought that there was another other woman out there, and that he'd been with her around the same time as they'd been together was even more disconcerting, as was the thought of him making such choices so ... cold-bloodedly.

Arika, perhaps guessing this, opened her mouth to perhaps remonstrate with her. Whatever she would have said was cut off when there was a large splashing noise from the kitchen. Skuld promptly darted into the room. "Okay, I'm going to need a second pair of hands for this."

Roughly an hour later, Sora's kitchen resembled the engine room of the USS Enterprise.

"All right, one last bit of fine tuning and we're good to go," Skuld opined as she examined some charmingly retro-looking gauges through her goggles. "About how much time distortion are we looking at, here?"

"The one in the resort was an hour outside for every day inside," Negi started to say.

"So you only need about three days, then?" Skuld interrupted. "Because this thing won't hold together for longer than about three hours. I've basically used the equivalent of baling wire in assembling it, and I'm going to have to watch it like a hawk or it'll collapse and take out most of this part of Japan."

"Really," said Negi, starting to panic again. "Maybe then -"

"A year," Chisame interjected. "Make an hour outside last a year inside ... and that'll be enough."

"Okay, about 1:9000 then. I can't get any more precise than that, so it's going to be a year to a little less than an hour, but ... well, anyway. Who's going in?"

"We are," said Negi, gesturing between himself and Chisame.

"You're not," said Chisame, gesturing at him.

"Ehh?" he asked sharply.

"You can't," she said firmly. "If it takes a year, then by the time you come out, you could be going through a growth spurt. People will notice. They will ask questions. You can't."

"I can't let you go through this alone, is what I can't do!" Negi protested.

"I won't," Chisame said.

"Of course you won't," Sora interjected. "I'm coming with you."

Chisame blinked. "Mother!" she said, startled.

"I haven't been a good one, I know, but I won't let you go through this without any help -"

"Uh, actually, what I meant was, I, well ..." Chisame trailed off, then pulled out her cell-phone and speed-dialled someone. "Uh, it's me. Can you come and -"

There was a knock on the door, and then a crashing noise. And then Chachamaru walked into the kitchen and surveyed the area calmly, before bowing politely towards Sora. "My apologies, Hasegawa-sama, for the damage to your door."

"No, not at all," Sora said, reflexively, before the question bubbled up. "Um, who are you, again?"

"This is Chachamaru Karakuri, she's my -" Chisame started to say, then stalled a bit.

"Fuckbuddy," supplied Chachamaru.

"Annoying best friend!" Chisame shouted in a probably vain attempt to distract her mother's attention from that last bit. God, she's worse with me than she was with Evangeline, the hacker thought wearily.

"Ah," Sora said, filing the first statement away while she focused on the other one. "I see."

Skuld, having removed her goggles to stare at Chachamaru with an expression best described as blatant lust, cleared her thoat. "Would you mind terribly if I took you apart?" she asked.

"Yes, I would mind," Chachamaru replied.

"I'd put you back together as soon as I was done."

"The answer is still yes."

Skuld pouted, and lowered the goggles once more. "Okay," she said brusquely. "So the two of you are going in with her, then?"

"Yes," said Sora, while the gynoid simply nodded.

"This is -" Chisame started to explain.

"It does not matter," Chachamaru said. "Whither thou goest, I go."

Chisame felt herself blushing brightly, then turned to look at Skuld. Coughing, she spoke. "We're ready, then."

"Okay, then, hold hands and -" Skuld threw a large switch, and on top of a flat surface, a glowing purple globe appeared. "- step into the glowing purple globe."

Taking her mother's hand in one hand and Chachamaru's in the other, Chisame paused to offer a quick nod towards Arika, who had been overseeing all of this in silence. And then she turned to look at Negi.

What passed between them was beyond words.

"See you in an hour," she finally said. "See you next year."

And then they stepped into the globe, and vanished.

Negi settled in, to wait and hope ...