Inspired by Shadow Crystal Mage's Love Stories.Again,although I'm afraid my offering this year has a somewhat more cynical bent for the most part. Don't blame me, I didn't have a good year!

Dragon Ball, Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai, The Slayers, Fate Stay Night, Fate Zero, Spongebob Squarepants, Superman, Mickey Mouse, Mahou Sensei Negima, Super Mario Bros, Winnie the Pooh, Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei, To Love Ru, Urusei Yatsura, The Idolmaster and Love Hina are all owned by their respective creators and copyright holders.

I'm making absolutely no money out of this.

Thanks to everyone around the Internet who inspired these stories, from Yeoman to Legato and beyond.

Have a happy Valentine.


Not Even in my Deathbed.

"What do you want me to tell you, huh?" he asked. "That I love you? That's what you'd want, right? I can't believe it. Me, telling you I love you. What, not blowing the planet up and not killing all those idiots, plus enduring your nagging all these years, all that wasn't enough for you? No, so now I must tell you I love you. Well, tough, woman, because I'm not going to tell you 'I love you'. No way you'll hear an 'I love you' from me! Not even Kakarott would ever be that sappy, and he's a subdued idiot. So you can stay there waiting forever for that 'I love you'. Yeah, you heard me right..."

He seethed for a few moments, with his face strangely red and sweaty, before placing a hand on the gravestone and whispering something his son couldn't hear from where he waited, way back.

Then the short man turned around crisply, grumbled a somber "Goodbye, " and began walking away.

Trunks walked next to him with a small melancholic smile. "I'm glad you finally could tell her, even if she always kne—"

"I didn't!" his father snapped quickly.


Meta.

Yozora had lost in scissors-paper-stone, so she had been left with the portable console to play while Sena used the clubroom's TV and PS3. The fact those also had been bought and brought by Sena helped too.

"You know," Yozora grunted, "there's something that has always bothered me about these stupid galge. If you're playing a guy, and you're a mean bastard to girls, you'll end up justifiably alone and loveless, right?"

"Ah-hah. Or stabbed if you mess up really bad, " Sena agreed for once, since she was too hypnotized by her own dating sim to find a reason to argue.

"Well, that's great, but like half the bitches to woo in this shit are just as bad if not worse. Dating your rival as soon as your compatibility points go down, verbally abusing you at the drop of a hat, acting all selfish and arrogant, like they're better than everyone else."

"Yeah, that's really annoying," Sena agreed once again with a vacant nod. Hell froze.

"And yet, they never pay for it!" Yozora hissed. "Either you drag yourself through the mud to marry them, only to surely be left penniless by them a few years after when you divorce, or you end up alone while they continue being beautiful, airheaded and beloved by everyone despite being useless bags of shit! Man, this pisses me off!"

"Yeah, and when they aren't bitches, they are spineless doormats who only live to please others. It's disgusting, " Sena commented as Yukimura served her tea without a word. "I hate that kind of stupid extremes. But at least galge give you some chances to date the odd normal or funny and friendly lively girl. In anime and manga, it's always the bitch who wins."

"Yeah, but those routes are hard to find in the first place, " Yozora frowned while Rika walked before her to go pick some books up. "And they're always the shortest too. Like the developers want to railroad you into suffering through the bitch's and the doormat's route instead of going off the beaten path."

Kodaka sighed. "Why don't we start buying fighting games then? You can play those online, so we could make some—"

"Don't interrupt!-!" Sena and Kodaka yelled at him at once. Then they turned their attentions back to their games.

"Someone should already make an option to see those domineering no good bitches old and alone at the game's end," Yozora mused. "It'd be very cathartic..."

"Oh ho ho, you were bound to have a good idea at some random day, Weasel..." Sena mocked her.

"Shut up, Meat."

Sixty years later, Yozora picked up her cup of tea and gave a tired sigh. "I feel so alone..."

"I'm still here, old weasel," Sena wheezed across the table, frowning at her.

"It's still the same thing, you piece of flaccid meat with droopy breasts," Yozora muttered. "Living with no one but a nagging old witch like you is such a bore..."

"Hey, that's my line...!"

They kept on mumbling to themselves for a few moments, until a wrinkled hand rested on top of another. It didn't matter who had done it, who was on top this time, or exactly why.

At least they weren't alone.


Archer.

It had been said to be a great old spell that would bring forth a familiar of sorts of great power, to be eligible for an even greater prize in a bloody contest of champions. Lina Inverse cared little about familiars, and she was sure she could have fought in that 'Holy Grail War' by herself just fine, but the rules in the arcane tome had been clear: No Servant, no Grail to be obtained. So she performed the ceremony as stated in the yellowed pages.

Now, a blond giant of untold beauty and majesty stood before her, dwarfing her with his size. For the first few moments, Lina only could stand aghast of how handsome he was, even more than Gourr-

Then, just like that person, he had to break the spell (the figurative one, not the one that had brought him) by talking.

"You, child. Are you the one who called for me?"

"What? I'm no child! And do you see anyone else around? It's obvious I'm your Master, isn't it?-!"

"Hmph," he sneered, looking at her with nothing but cold contempt. "Do you have no idea who have you brought forth, flat chested infant? Gilgamesh, mightiest of all champions, King of Kings and Hero Amongst Heroes, calls no one 'Master'!"

Lina booted him in the crotch, which much to her disappointment was just as armored (or maybe simply just as strong) as the rest of his body. Still, she had kicked enough hard things in her life, so against his own expectations, she didn't yell in pain, but anger. "Know your place, Servant! I'm Lina Inverse, the best dark magic user of them all! The Bandit Killer! The mightiest sorceress Zephiria has ever produced, and I won't be-!"

He yawned petulantly. "My place is wherever I go, and wherever I have any interest on owning. And what is that Zephiria you speak of, child? It truly must be a backwater land, if I never heard of it. Perhaps I left its conquest to one of my lesser generals. Does it produce anything but shrieking children with no brains?"

"DRAG SLAVE!" she cried out.

"What a bore-!" he said.

They ended up conquering the world and having seven children.

Amelia thought they made a cute couple, which they always denied.


Super.

By the time he finally became old and graying, Earth itself was nothing but a memory. Absorbing centuries of yellow sun radiation, he had become an all but literal god, even with age finally catching up to him. Everyone in the universe who didn't respect or love him feared him.

Yet, no female who ever came close to him was loved back the way they hoped. Not once through all those centuries.

Sometimes, someone would dare asking him what had been so special about that woman who had died so long ago. What had been so unique about her. He had met them stronger and braver, kinder and smarter, more generous and more driven. She had been all of those things, true, but there always had been someone superior to her in some if not all of them.

So why her? Why it always had to be about her?

And then he would just smile, not in his usual bright and confident way, but in a smaller, softer one. The smile of a man, not of a living god made flesh.

"She was Lois," he would say.

For him, that was more than enough.


Father's Love.

Negi, always the hopeful about fatherly love, sat down with a small smile on his lips. "I know he'll come back for us. He won't let us down! Someday, somehow, he will return to us."

Asuna sighed as she sat down next to him, her hand on his. "I'm telling you, we're discontinued forever. He'll never write or draw us again..."

Even so, she kept waiting with Negi. Even if it was forever.


Definition.

"Tell me, what is this 'love' thing about?" he asked, scratching his head clumsily.

Now, he knew Pooh was a dumb old bear and it often took a while explaining things to him. So Christopher Robin just hugged him, very tightly against himself.

And for once, his dumb old friend understood quickly. "Ah..."


Reasons.

"Why do you keep rescuing her, even when you know she won't ever reward you, and she'll never go the same lengths you go for her, huh? Huh?-!" he growled, towering over him ominously, breathing cascades of steaming hot air down on him.

"The same-a reason why you keep-a kidnapping her instead-a of just taking the easy-a way and just destroying the kingdom-a?" the tiny man still could smile up at him in defiant answer.

The giant beast was taken aback for a moment before just looking aside and huffing gruffly. "Dames!"


Coping.

"Mickey?" Goofy walked in after finally finding the spare key under the welcome mat. It had taken him only two hours. "We've been all—Garsh, Minnie!-? I thought you were—"

"It's me, Goofy, " 'she' sadly said with a voice not her own.

He blinked a few times, unable to get it.


Comparison.

"My darling, " Lum started proudly, "is a man amongst men, hot blooded and passionate-tcha!"

"My Rito, " Lala countered, "is kind, gentle and a true gentleman!"

For a few moments they stared at each other, in tense silence, and Benten and Zastin feared that would be the start of yet another Oni-Deviluke war.

Lum sighed sadly. "He goes after every woman but me-tcha."

Lala followed suit. "He doesn't even go after other women..."

"I feel so needy...!" they bawled, before hugging each other tightly.

After a few moments, they started to kiss...

Benten and Zastin looked at each other, perplexed, then just shrugged.

And so the Oni and Deviluke empires were brought together.


Father's Love, Part 2.

Itoshiki Nozomu hugged Kumeta-sensei. "Thank you, Father, for giving me an ending full of love and closure, unlike the one Negi-sensei got from his father."

Kumeta was startled. "I thought I was screwing your life u— Oh," he quietly said, noticing all the girls standing vigilantly behind Itoshiki, watching over the encounter. Chiri had the spade in her hands. Kumeta laughed weakly and patted Itoshiki's back. "Silly boy...! Of course I wouldn't leave you alone and loveless, ever...!"


Nightmare Fuel.

Patrick gently caressed Spongebob's face as he took him from behind...


Nightmare Fuel Unleaded.

"For you," Caster gently said as he gestured towards the huge pile of mangled bodies stitched together.

"Ah! You remembered!" Ryuunosuke sighed, his cheeks gaining a bright pink tone. "Oh, and some of them are still squirming!"

His Servant nodded. "Yes. I thought you would want to be left a few ones for yourself."

The young man smiled. "Oh, you're so kind. But before we do that..."

The sound of eighties porn music began to sound as Ryuunosuke reached for his belt.

"... How do you call it? Mana recharge?"

One of the still living kids in the pile looked at the corpse stitched to him and bitterly mumbled, "Lucky guy."


Return.

Producer-san was happy for them even after they left, one by one, aiming higher as their careers took flight. Naturally, he wasn't going to blame them. They couldn't be expected to stay behind in a small agency that just didn't progress as fast as they did, when their relatives and loved ones began pushing them to go for better contracts.

He kept working just as hard anyway. Because he loved his job all the same, and it still felt good helping others.

Then that night Haruka returned to their doorstep. Even while she still was at the peak of her popularity, she came back to them, smiling awkwardly.

"I realized," she said, "I haven't ever felt better than when I was here."

She followed that with a pause and a soft, "With you."

He smiled and welcomed her back.


Ultimate Proof of Love.

Well, she had done it. She hadn't wanted it to end that way, but somehow, after so many years of marriage, Keitaro's body had finally become frail enough for it.

After drying her tears, she looked down again at his still body, then slowly looked up at the two holes in the ceiling, the exit one and the re-entry one.

She lowered her head, sighing with the utmost sadness. She trudged over to their bedroom, wrote a loving final note for their sons and grandchildren, and left it on their nightstand.

She walked back to her husband's body, tenderly kissed his forehead, stood right over it, gathered all of her remaining strength, and Naru-punched herself.


See you next year, I hope.