Disclaimer: Do not own, unbeta-ed, et cetera.

If you haven't read 'Prerogative of the Brave' by deathcurse, you should not be reading this. This is a companion piece to her story - the fourth chapter of PoTB, more specifically, and probably won't make much sense until you do. So what are you waiting for? Go, go!


To Let Nature Run its Course
A companion piece to Prerogative of the Brave.



"Hmm?" She didn't look up, merely continued to scribble at the paper on the high island table connected to the kitchen, a chin propped up on her right hand from where she was standing.

"What are you doing?"

"Making a list of groceries."

A pause.

"Another list?" Fate asked perplexedly as she approached. "Exactly how many things do you plan to get for the dinner tonight?"

She glanced up to meet curious burgundy eyes, and reached up to poke at her wife's nose with the blunt end of the pen.

"You didn't read the list I gave you, did you?" Nanoha asked, amused.

The blonde blinked, and then leaned back, away from the pen.

"..No?" Fate picked out the paper she had folded from her jeans pocket. "Should I have?"

"Give it a look?" Nanoha grinned, and watched the blonde skim the list; dark wine eyes narrowing as a momentary suspicion flickered past them, before her eyebrows lifted quizzically.

"Okay..." Fate said slowly, flipping the paper around with two fingers for Nanoha to read it, "considering that there's a lot of space left on this paper, and that you are one of the best cooks I've known all my life, I'm assuming you deliberately left out the vegetables and some miscellaneous dry items that's essential for the menu we planned."

She smirked.

"A flawless deduction, Enforcer Harlaown."

Said Enforcer's response was amused and wary both. "Exactly what are you up to this time, Nanoha?"

Nanoha mock-pouted, tugging at Fate's belt loop to pull her closer. "You make me sound like I'm always up to some mischief."

"...Do I really have to respond to that?" her wife asked wryly, though she wasn't resisting the pull; and instead wound her arms around Nanoha's waist, brushing her lips against the temple gently. "But, seriously, what are you up to?"

"Telling Hayate-chan that she and Vivio needs to talk," the brunette murmured as her head surged up a little, angling to capture those lips; claiming what she'd already marked as hers long ago in a slow, languid kiss.

It was Fate that pulled back, after a period of time that probably lasted a few minutes; and her words was a husky whisper. "...You're taking the possibilities of them getting together awfully well."

She couldn't help the grimace that did form this time, and dropped her head to rest on her wife's collarbone. "That'd be you, Fate-chan, not me."

Fate chuckled, patting her head gently. "Now that's the Nanoha I know from the last couple days." A pause. "Or should I say from the point of time when we concluded that this wasn't just a simple crush?"

Nanoha sighed.

"I'm worried," she said rather simply. The brunette didn't explain further; not that she had to, because Fate knew where she was coming from.

It was a complicated feeling. On one hand, Hayate was the best friend. On the other hand, Vivio was the daughter. One was twenty-nine and the other was fifteen. One was something like a godmother, and the other was a willful child.

And it wasn't as if Nanoha thought that Hayate would be bad for Vivio, or vice versa. She knew Hayate wouldn't intentionally harm Vivio, and her daughter would - quite possibly - be very good for the work-alcoholic commander. Because, yes, while her best friend may disagree on it, she deserve to be loved, and Nanoha would Starlight Breaker anyone who said otherwise (even Hayate herself).

Furthermore, Nanoha knew that Vivio wouldn't pursue Hayate for the sake of gaining something. Which was a damn lot more she could say compared to various suitors that tried to woo her friend for political gains that still irritated her.

But even so, this was Vivio.

Her daughter.

Fate squeezed her gently. "I'm worried too. But we agreed to let nature runs its course, didn't we? So why the list, Nanoha..?"

She was silent, for a moment.

Then she sighed.

"Honestly? From what we seen last night at the bar, I think she needs a little prodding to make the first step - because Vivio certainly isn't going to." A pause. "Or not yet anyway, at least."

Nanoha thought that Fate had smiled, slightly, at the latter words - even if she couldn't see it. Vivio, like her, was never one to idle too long. It wasn't in their nature.

"The ball is in Hayate's court, so to speak?" murmured the blonde. For now.

And Nanoha knew that, if Fate wasn't outright disagreeing, it meant that her wife agreed on the assessment she had on Hayate.

"There is that," she responded wryly, "And there is the part where both of them are so...agitated. It shows." Nanoha didn't like seeing her daughter and friend this agitated, or upset, or stressed.

And while she didn't know if they would end up in a relationship, or if she would ever stop having mixed feelings about it, it hadn't meant that Hayate and Vivio didn't need to talk. They had to, and it was something that would happen inevitably.

So why not make it happen faster?

"I see where you're going with this," Fate murmured thoughtfully.

A pause, before her wife chuckled, amusement apparent in her tone. "That would mean we won't see a squirming Hayate for much longer, though. Isn't it a little funny to see Hayate not as composed as she usually is?"

Her lips twitched despite herself, and she pulled back a little to look into dancing burgundy eyes. "Yes, you rather enjoyed that, didn't you?"

There was an uncharacteristic smirk forming on Fate's features that Nanoha found insanely attractive.

"I did."

"And I'm the mischievous one, huh."

Fate's grin grew, just a little.