Standard issue disclaimer: Masaki Tsuzuki created, and Seven Arcs owns, Nanoha. I am not any of them. This is a parody, protected speech.
"Things should pick up after this," he said. Orrrr not.
Chapter 3 - Yuuno
There are certain questions that, in the normal course of events, one asks and expects to receive a non-informative answer. They are a normal part of conversation, sort of a way of expressing empathy rather than a request for information. When one asks, "How've you been lately", one expects an answer along the lines of "things have been good" or "not too bad" or "can't complain".
One certainly didn't, if one were Yuuno Scrya, expect to see the person whom one had just asked that question open her mouth to express such a response, fail to say anything for a moment, and then close her mouth as her face crumbled into an expression of shame and grief. One especially didn't expect to see that happen to Nanoha Takamachi. She sat down the cup of tea she'd been holding as they sat in her condominium's sitting room, then lifted her hands to her face. "Oh, Yuuno-kun," she said mournfully. "It's all gone wrong!"
"Eh?" he said, since he had no idea what he should say at such a moment. "Nanoha!"
"And it's all my own fault, too," Nanoha continued, letting her hands down as she looked at them mournfully. "I've made a complete mess of my life, and I can't say that someone tricked me, or even that I didn't realize what I was getting into when I started this."
"What do you mean?" Yuuno asked, still feeling a terrible sense of unreality. The strongest person he'd ever met was falling to pieces in front of him.
"It starts with Fate-chan," she said wearily, then finally lifted her gaze to meet his, her soulful violet eyes gazing at him and expressing fatigue awful to contemplate. "You know, don't you, that we're ..." She trailed off.
"Living together?" he supplied delicately. He was well-aware of their much more intimate relationship than those words described. It didn't bother him; people who, like Yuuno, could change into animals generally regarded human sexuality and neurosis about it with amusement. But somehow, this just didn't seem like the time to crack jokes about it. Actually, the generality had never really applied to Nanoha.
"Yes," she said, sounding grateful for a moment, before the gloom settled on her face again. "Except that we're not, really. She's always off on missions, and I'm always in training ... we almost never see each other! And when we do, we're usually just tired. We don't, I mean ..." She trailed off again, blushing just a bit.
He'd always thought she was incredibly cute when she blushed. But this was not the time to be thinking such things, Yuuno sternly reminded himself. "I see," he said. He felt an impulse to offer advice, but his empathy told him that she wasn't done talking yet.
"And I think there's someone else," Nanoha said quietly.
"I think Fate-chan may be seeing someone else," she repeated, tearing up. "I think she's cheating on me."
"No!" Yuuno gasped, then cursed himself silently. Yes, tell her that she shouldn't trust her feelings, that she's nuts, that was clever, "I mean, what makes you think that?" he said, trying to recover.
She shook her head. "It's nothing, it's just ... it's not that we're always tired, but she's never interested in, well, being with me. So there's got to be someone else, right? But I suppose that's my fault, too," she added after a moment, sounding gloomy.
"Why do you think that?" Yuuno found himself repeating. The sense of unreality he'd felt was back in force.
"I was the one who pushed for us to get closer," Nanoha admitted. "I mean, we were kids, really, and I thought we'd always be together, so we might as well be like that. But that's just childish dreaming, isn't it? I mean, my parents didn't meet until they were in their late teens. Kyouya-niisan didn't marry the girl he'd grown up with, he married the one he met when he was almost an adult.
"Looking back on it, I can see where things went wrong," she continued, leaning back against the couch, her eyes distant from their current place and time. "I got hurt. And she took care of me. If not for that, I think, I think we would have realized that we were better off as friends long before now," she sighed.
Yuuno swallowed. "Have you tried talking to Fate about this?" he asked hesitantly.
"There's never time," Nanoha replied, shaking her head. "And when we do talk, it's never about that. I don't know how to ask these things. And her? She has all these plans. She wants children, Yuuno-kun. She wants us to have children together." She turned to stare at him with an incredulous expression. "How can we take that kind of responsibility, when our jobs could get us killed at any time?"
"I don't know, Nanoha," he said after a long silence. It was a lousy answer. If she was telling him all this, asking all these questions, she must be in desperate need of his help. Yet all he could do was lend her a sympathetic ear.
"And on top of all that, it's been months since I saw my family," Nanoha continued. "I'd love to call my mom and talk to her about all of this, but she'd just be able to lend a sympathetic ear. You can't hug someone over the phone, and I could really use a hug right now."
I'm such an idiot, Yuuno thought. He got up from the chair and quickly headed over to sit beside her on the couch, arms wide open.
For a moment, she stared at him, as though wondering whether she should. He beckoned, smiling gently, and she fell foward against his chest. "Thank you, Yuuno-kun," she said, rubbing her tears against his shirt. "You've always been so good to me, and I've never really appreciated it."
"That's not true," Yuuno said, feeling about ten feet tall right at the moment. "You were there for me as much as I was there for you, always."
"But I didn't accept your feelings," she protested, looking up at him wanly.
"I didn't make them clear," he answered, shaking his head. "I was too much of a child, and ..."
He trailed off, just looking down at her as she looked up at him.
And then, so quickly that he couldn't be sure which of them had made the move, the distance between their faces closed, and they were kissing, deeply. It was every bit as wonderful as he had ever dared to dream that it could be, and he thrilled to the sensation of her tongue entering his mouth, feeling her heart beat next to his. And then, to his stunned amazement, he felt one of her hands slide down from where it had been resting against his pectorals to his belt, and start undoing it.
"Bluh?" he said into the kiss which continued all the while this was happening.
His pants opened up, and the hand reached into his boxers.
"Wait," Yuuno said, somehow finding the strength to pull back from the kiss. "Wait, slow down, you don't have to -"
"But I want to, Yuuno-kun," she said, caressing his length as she took the opportunity to look down at it. "It's so pretty. So very pretty." She bent down then and, before he could fully process what was about to happen, took his manhood into her mouth.
Yuuno was not, it should be noted, a blushing virgin. The Liese twins had taken care of that almost as soon as they were left alone with him, years before, and there had been a few other partners since then. But this sensation, having this done to him by the girl he had quietly adored in silence for years, was nothing that he had ever imagined happening. It overpowered him, leaving helpless to do anything except lie there and drink it in, watching dazedly as she caressed him with her tongue, her teeth, her lips and one of her hands.
Where's her other hand, he wondered vaguely, as he listened to the wet noises she made.
Just as he thought she was about to bring him off, Nanoha reared up, revealing that she had hiked up her skirt and slid her panties down around her ankles. (Ah, he thought fuzzily, that's where her other hand was.) Before he could voice a word, she slid forward and down onto him.
"We're one, Yuuno-kun," she said then, smiling all the while.
"Nguuuhhhh," Yuuno replied clverly.
She began to rock back and forth, riding him fiercely but gently. He somehow summoned the presence of mind to lift up his hands from where they'd helplessly lain at his sides, and slid them up under the hem of her t-shirt, not stopping until they'd lifted it up to reveal her small, firm breasts - or at least the sports bra that covered them. But that was enough, and he gloried in the contact with them even as she started to cry out as she brought herself to her first orgasm.
The sensation of it, the tightening and release of it, made him lose the focus he'd kept since she started, and he felt himself jetting into her as well, and gasped at how good it felt to do so.
For a second, they just lay there, panting from the exertion.
And then, in the distance, the door to Nanoha's apartment opened, and Fate's voice could be heard announcing her arrival and return home in traditional Japanese style. Owing to their position on the couch, Yuuno saw her first as she entered the living room from the apartment's foyer, and watched her cheerful expression turn ashen as she saw them.
"Yuuno? Nanoha?" she asked, horror clear in her tone.
"... this is not what it looks like!" Yuuno said.
Nanoha pulled back, directing an amazed expression at him. "... 'not what it looks like', Yuuno-kun?"
"I-I-I-I," he replied, rapidly swiveling his head between the two women.
"How could you do this?" Fate asked, eyes watering. "How could you do this?" she repeated, almost shrieking this time. To Yuuno's horror, her hand swept up and she cried those most horrible words, "Bardiche! Set up!"
"Yes, sir," replied the tiny triangle in her hand.
Nanoha reacted to this challenge by pulling away from Yuuno with a determined expression. "Raising Heart! Set Up!" she snapped that terrifying expression, her hand out as well.
"All right, my master," said the tiny gem.
"Noooooo!" Yuuno cried out as he dove for the floor, ducking and covering and throwing up the strongest barriers he possibly could to shield himself from the devastation that was sure to follow.
... where was the planet-shattering kaboom?
A few seconds later, Yuuno lifted his head to see what had transpired.
"Gotcha," said Fate and Nanoha in unison as they crouched in front of him, grinning matching evil smiles.
"Eh?" Yuuno asked.
"It's not fun being lied to by omission, is it?" Nanoha asked, beaming brightly.
"Now, if I'd mentioned that Fate and I have an open relationship and can be with other people whenever we want, you probably wouldn't have been so scared, would you?" she continued.
"Ehhhh? Buh, wha, you - you said -"
"And you said it wasn't what it looked like, so I don't really think you have any room to talk, Yuuno," Fate added.
This ... this was a nightmare. It had to be a ... no, it was too real to be a nightmare. "I have to use the bathroom," he gasped.
Nanoha looked down. "Too late," she said. "Gee, that's going to be hard to get out of the carpet ..."
A few minutes later, Yuuno found himself sitting on the toilet with his hands over his face, breathing heavily. He still could not believe what had just happened to him, the trickery, the sex, any of it.
"The mills of the gods grind slowly, but they grind exceedingly fine," Fate said as she came in to the bathroom through a door that clearly didn't lock as he'd thought it did.
"I don't think this really qualifies as karma!" Yuuno protested. "Okay, I didn't tell her that I was actually a boy in ferret form, instead of an intelligent ferret, but -"
"And she didn't tell you that while we have been in the situation she described to you, we're not right now. And you're embarrassed, just like she was." Fate looked a bit sympathetic as she leaned against the sink while watching him. "And for what it's worth, I really was surprised to walk in on you like that. Nanoha's talked about tricking you like this before, but I didn't know she was actually going through with it tonight."
"And so you played along," he said wearily.
"Mm-hm. For good or ill, Nanoha really does believe that the burned hand teaches best. I don't agree, but ... well, we don't agree on a lot of things." Abruptly, she squatted down to meet his eye level. "She does care about you, Yuuno. That wasn't a lie."
"And you're really okay with this?" he asked.
"I don't own her, and she doesn't own me," Fate answered. "I'd rather she were with you than some of the idiots she has brought home from time to time, because I know you and like you."
"Like," Fate answered firmly. "Sorry, but you're not my type, Ferret-Changeling."
Yuuno sighed. "I'm not sure that I can deal with any of this," he said at length.
"You either can or you can't," Fate said, shrugging. "But this is the way that she is, and if you want to be a part of her life - like this - then you have to deal with all of this. Just like I do."
"I need some space to think about it, I think," Yuuno replied.
Fate nodded, and got up to head for the door.
"It's really all true? All the things she said ... like about -"
"Yes," replied Fate, not turning to look at him. "I want children, and she is ... well. She doesn't, and that's all there is to it. Like I said, I deal with it."
And then she went out, leaving him alone, with a great deal to think about.