Worn out from classes, solo training, and one encounter too many with her previous shinyuu, Ayana turned the knob of the door to her dorm room just enough to clear the seal and slumped against it with what she knew was just enough force to open it wide enough to let her through. When she found herself still in the hallway, forehead-first against the door, she realized that something was quite wrong.

If Jun thought today was a day to mess with me, she will soon learn just how wrong she is.

A single foot was lifted slowly, agonizingly slowly, from the floor. Upon reaching its apex, it dropped like the hammer of the gods, carrying first the door, then Ayana through the doorway and into the room, where she promptly stepped over the expected mangled form, only to be caught and tripped by an unexpected second. Though she saved herself from landing atop either casualty, at the insistence of gravity and her overtaxing limbs she was forced to join them on the floor.

"Uwaaaa! Oh no, don't end, luscious dream! You were so sweet, so rare, so ephemeral…"

Too spent to get up quite yet, Ayana banged her head lightly on the floorboards and quietly declared, "Go back to sleep, Jun. It'll help you transition gently to your impending state of nonexistence."

"Oooh, at long last Ayana-chan has stated a desired for gentle things to be done to me. Well, then, care to put your mouth where your thoughts were?"

Ayana gritted her teeth, a black fire building behind her eyes. "I'll give you a piece of my mind, alright."

"Ayana, Ayana! Give me a piece of you too, pleeeease!"

"Oh. Oh God. Not you too."

Her fighting aura fading into a mere gloomy depression, Ayana refused to even look.

Uuuuuggh. Why.

A rustling behind her signaled that her roommate had gathered enough energy to rise, a tactical boon she was sure to abuse.

Get up Mudou Ayana get up get up get up right this instant or

To Ayana's immense surprise, Jun for once displayed some measure of prudence, pity, or some other of the myriad other virtues that she usually seemed to lack, and merely pulled her up by the hand.

Ayana broke off contact as soon as she regained her balance and did her best to ignore the disappointed look on her roommate's face.

She's the one that tripped me. She can deal with not getting what she wants, damnit.

"Now, explain. Why is Hayate here, and specifically, why was she on the floor?"

"I am so sorry, Ayana-chan, but we just tired ourselves out over you!"

Fist met face before either Ayana or Jun quite realized what had happened. Her roommate now laying unconscious on the lower bunk, Ayana realized that her reflexes had led her into the worst possible outcome: Jun in her bed with an alibi for being unable to get out, and only Hayate left to explain what the hell was going on.

Ayana's brows twitched. I really just want to sleep now, but I sure as hell can't with this idiocy!



"Explain. Use small words. Leave nothing out."

"Well, ya see…well, just look over there."

A beaming Hayate gestured broadly toward a small TV near Ayana's bed.

Ayana's eyes grow so large that they nearly popped her precious glasses' lenses out of the frame.

"You idiots touched my console!"

"Oh, more than touched! We beat it, Ayana! We beat it for you! And boy, are we bushed from it. Took like a hundred tries! That's why we're down here! Resting!"


"Jun-Jun said you were stuck on this one thing with the little ships down the bottom and the girls flying around everywhere, and that you'd broken a dozen of these things already." With that, Hayate brandished one of Ayana's controllers.

"Uhh, kinda, maybe. That's my problem, though. And that is also my controller."

"Yeah! We thought if we were gonna do this for ya, we should do it right! And, like, pretend to be you, so it would be like you really beating it!"

"And I will really beat it. By myself. That's how it works. So I don't know why you bothered. How did you two manage that, anyway? I'm surprised my console survived the experience."

Maybe it didn't. With that uncomfortable thought, Ayana thrust an arm across her bed to turn on the console. Luckily, it sprang to life as expected, leaving its master free to breathe a sigh of immense relief.

A moment later, she found herself taking that sigh right back, as a sudden arm winding around her waist induced a quick intake of breath.

"Hay'te di' the movin' an' I di' the shootin'," whispered a still-dazed Jun.

Carefully extracting Mr. Nail Bat from its hiding place behind the bed, Ayana calmly responded, "You know, that actually does make sense. Hayate-chan does have excellent maneuvering and speed, and you—you have great timing."

A scream of pain split the air of the 2nd-year dorms, for what would be neither the first nor the last time. Not one student batted an eye, secure in the knowledge that Mudou Ayana had any necessary eye-batting well in hand already.

"A-Ayana! How am I supposed to perform such feats for you if I cannot see? Could you at least, like, aim lower next time?"

"Knees, then? Excellent. Duly noted." Ayana weighed a less-spiky portion of her bat in her off-hand and nodded to herself. "So," she said, whirling around to glare at her current shinyuu. "Get out. I've got a game to beat. All proper-like."

"But Ayana! Can we at least show you how we did it?"

Ayana was given pause for a moment by this somewhat reasonable request, one which might give her some minor compensation for the hell she had just been through.

"I guess. But don't you only know half of it?"

"Don't worry, Ayana-chan~! No matter my injuries, I am always willing and able to show you my techni—GWARRRG."

With that, Jun received a second faceful of Mr. Nail Bat, and the near-visible flames wreathing Ayana's enraged head convinced Hayate to cut her losses and dive-roll out the door.

Leaving Mr. Nail-Bat at rest in Jun's skull, Ayana charged across the room, her prior fatigue consigned to the depths of a sea of rage, and slammed the door hard enough to trigger the console's controllers. As the game's theme song hit her ears, an idea came along with it.

Well. Can't sleep in that bed with Jun there. Sure as hell not sleeping in her bed. She wakes up, and she takes that as an invitation, and I couldn't even fault her that much for thinking that. Meanwhile, there is a game that needs an ass-kicking. Hmmmm.

Her mind made up, Ayana strode purposefully to the bed, sat down hard on Jun's near-corpse, and took one controller in each hand.

Smiling to herself, she stated, "So two is how to do it, eh? That alt-control scheme was there for a reason, those crazy bastards of a dev team. Well, let's roll."