Laura Bodewig was a Maiden in Love.
The fact that this sentence could be said at all was a miracle in and of itself, at least when it came to this girl.
Don't believe me? Then listen to her story.
The Military base wasn't the friendliest place in the world. Covered in endless fields of green and barbed wire fences, it gave off feelings of desolation and despair.
The few buildings there were used for practical purposes only. Living areas, an office, and a shooting range for training. Each one was essential to a small outpost such as this.
The only inhabitant of the area was a woman in a black military uniform and some others, presumably military officers.
The woman in the dark uniform paced left and right in a strict, brisk manner. Her gait giving away her years of military experience, "Attention Shwarzer Hase recruits!" She stopped and turned to the crowd of soldiers sitting in front of her.
The crowd around her was abnormal to say the least. They weren't the strong rugged men with years of military experience showing on their face. No, these were children and teenagers, all ranging from as young as 12 to as old as 16.
The other odd thing; they were all females.
All of them stood up before saluting to her, "Yes Lieutenant Clarissa!" Their tone was as strict as hers, as if they had faced danger all their lives.
Clarissa nodded before continuing, "We will do our usual test; One round around the obstacle field." She looked at each of them in the eye, daring them to complain.
With suppressed groans, they made their way to the obstacle field to prepare for the days training (torture).
30 minutes later
Various amounts of people were scattered over the sandy field. Some were trapped under heavy walls of rope, others were trapped in deep pits. The training was too harsh for them.
All except one.
A 14 year old girl stood there with nary a scratch on her, her silver hair glinting in the sunlight.
"Good job Bodewig." Clarissa smiled and patted her on the back.
A small smile made it's way onto her face, "Thank you instructor." She replied with a hint of pride in her voice.
It was always the same. This small, fragile looking girl always finished the tests flawlessly. She was the pride of the unit and everybody's ideal.
"Everyone take a shower, you all need it." Clarissa turned away from them and made her way back to the small office.
The various people made their way to the building containing the showers, rubbing the bruises and injuries they received from the earlier training exercise.
"Nice one Laura."
"Great as always."
Various people congratulated her on the way to the building. Jealousy wasn't a problem, when it came to the unit only weakness was seen as a cause of negative attention.
Laura smiled at all the praise she was receiving. This was par for the norm for her, being the best soldier in the group had its bragging rights.
She took a shower before going to sleep on the small bunk bed. Tomorrow was going to be the same as always
Or so she thought.
Clarissa walked into the living area near daybreak, everyone was still sleeping soundly in bed, most likely tired from the training (torture) from yesterday. She smirked and placed the whistle up to her lips.
The entire barracks shook as all of the young soldiers woke up. Most of them fell of their beds and ended up in heaps on the floor.
"I trust everyone here had a good sleep?" She laughed inwardly at the various states of the group, "I'm here to introduce someone."
Everyone immediately straightened up after they heard her. A new person at the base was rare, scratch that, it was probably the only thing new that happened in the past few month's they'd been here.
"I see I've got your attention." She looked at the curious faces of all the girls in the bunk before continuing, "You will be having a new instructor starting today."
Everyone immediately began murmuring amongst each other before Clarissa held up her hand to silence them, "She will be here for one year only. It's only to pay back a favor." Their faces deflated once again after they heard this.
"Don't worry, I'm sure you'll like the course she'll be teaching." Everyone was confused but she paid it no heed as she motioned towards the door.
A woman came into the room. She looked to be in her early 20's, her long black hair was tied into a ponytail and she was dressed in a gray jogging outfit, not very odd for an instructor to wear in a military base.
She turned to them and they noticed her features were of Japanese descent, they didn't have time to observe more before she introduced herself, "My name is Chifuyu Orimura, I will be teaching you for one year here." She bowed afterwards in a show of respect.
All of the Shwarzer Hase members were trained in gauging how dangerous a person was from sight alone. Mannerisms, way of talking, posture and many other factors helped them determine how much of a potential threat an individual could be.
Chifuyu walked up to one of the older members, about 15 years old, and offered her hand to shake, "It's a pleasure to meet you."
The girl struggled to raise her arms before managing to clasp Chifuyu's hand on hers, "I-It's a p-pleasure to meet you." She stuttered out nervously.
All of them could tell from the moment she introduced herself; they could attack her all at once and she'd be able to beat them with her eyes closed.
"Hey Chifuyu, where's the kid?" Clarissa suddenly asked.
"Oh right." Chifuyu let go of the recruit's hand (much to her relief) and went out of the room again.
All the recruits wondered what was going to happen before noises of an argument began to emanate from outside.
"Come on Ichika, they're not going to chew your head off!" Chifuyu's voice echoed throughout the room.
The reply was the one that shocked them more though, "You didn't say they were all girls! I thought you were going to teach people some military stuff!" The voice that replied was undoubtedly male.
"Teaching them about IS piloting counts as military. Now quit complaining and go in already!"
Chifuyu walked back into the room, this time she was dragging along an unwilling boy of about 14 years of age.
"Go introduce yourself!" She pushed him forward and he stumbled before straightening himself up again.
He looked around nervously and took a deep breath before introducing himself, "M-My name is Orimura Ichika, i-it's nice to meet you!" He bowed as well.
His features would be considered handsome to most; short black hair that stopped just above his neck and an average, slightly muscular frame. The face closely resembled that of his sister and added to his overall "pretty boy" feel.
Most of the members were frozen in shock. It was the first time for some of them to see someone close to their age. All the men they've interacted with were always about twice their age.
Clarissa laughed inwardly again at their reaction, "One of you will be in charge of showing him around and helping him settle in." She knew what was going to happen.
"No, pick me! I've been here the longest!"
Everyone was scrambling for the chance to get the position. Curiosity could make one act foolishly no matter the situation.
Clarissa looked past the excited girls and saw the only figure who wasn't acting like an energetic monkey, "Laura, you're in charge of him."
"Understood." Laura nodded her head but didn't say anything more. She wasn't interested in him. She was just going to do it to follow orders.
Laura took her job seriously, like she always did, and immediately grabbed Ichika in order to take him on the tour of the surrounding area.
"That's the firing range. We use it to test weapon fire and practice." She pointed to the small building where the Shwarzer Hase would practice with each other and have competitions in their free time.
Not letting him get a word in, she continued her impromptu tour, "That's the obstacle course. It's what we use for training on most days." She pointed to the small obstacle course where they had their training (torture) yesterday.
"Miss Laur-" He tried to interrupt her again.
Cutting him off yet again, she gestured to the last building. "That's the command office, it's where lieutenant Clarissa receives orders from the base." The building was the smallest and looked like it could only house a few people at a time.
She turned towards him, "Do you understand everything?" He could only nod his head absently. It wasn't like talking had gotten him anything so far.
"Good." She was about to leave and go back to the barracks (she considered her job finished.) but Ichika grabbed her by the shoulder, turning her around.
With a fluid movement, Laura grabbed his hand and pinned it against his back. She could have broken his arm if she wanted to at this point.
Ignoring his pained cries, she continued as if she wasn't potentially crippling him "What is it?" She was annoyed right now. She was the only one who didn't want to get saddled with this job.
"Can you show me the firing range? It sounds interesting." Ichika's voice was strained but he managed to answer.
Laura thought about it for a bit (never letting go of his arm, much to his discomfort.) before she let go and led him to the firing range. What's the harm?
The two of them walked to the small building. Ichika was rubbing his arm in order to ease the pain.
The interior of the building was bigger than the exterior let on. The walls were silver in color and the sound of automated machinery echoed all around them.
Ichika looked around the building in awe. It was obviously the first time he'd been somewhere like this, "Amazing~! Everything looks so high tech!" He looked around like a kid in a candy store.
Laura smiled a bit when she saw his actions. It reminded her of some of the other recruits first reactions when they first got to the base (Till they experienced their first tortu- TRAINING session).
"There are over 50 guns so far ranging from simple pistols to complex rifles." She gestured towards the racks of weapons on the wall. "Each of which possesses their own strengths and weaknesses."
Ichika nodded absently at her lecture, too engrossed at looking at the guns on the wall to pay any actual attention to her words.
"Can I use one?"
Laura's answer was immediate, "No." Her tone indicated it was final.
Ichika wouldn't give up though, "C'mon~ I'll be really careful!" He was on his knees begging.
Laura wouldn't give in, "No means no! I'll get in trouble if you end up getting shot in the ass or something!" She folded her arms over her chest to indicate she was serious.
Ichika did his last resort. The move that no one, not even Chifuyu, could resist, "Please~ I'll be really careful~" He stuck out his lips in a small pout and put on some crocodile tears. Yes, it was the only thing no person could resist.
The puppy dog eyes.
"Ngh!" Laura blushed slightly and looked away from him. That was the first time she'd ever seen an expression like that and she thought it looked...cute.
'No! No! No! Don't fall for it!' She thought frantically. Unfortunately, she made the mistake of looking at him again.
"Please~" He was still using the same expression as before.
"...Fine." Laura slumped down in defeat. That was a truly formidable weapon no person could resist.
Ichika smiled and rushed to the rack before picking up one of the biggest rifles he could find.
Alarm bells rung in Laura's head and she immediately rushed towards the excited (Suicidal in her own words) young man and took the gun way.
"Are you crazy!" She was nearly yelling at this point. Even a trained soldier would break if they had to deal with someone like him. "I said you could use one, not kill yourself with one!" She placed the rifle back onto the rack and picked up a small pistol and placed it on his open palms.
"A pistol?" He gave her a questioning look. Laura resisted the urge to bang her head against the wall. Her self-control was running thin.
"Yes, a pistol. Did you think I would allow you to use whatever gun you wanted? Don't answer that." She quickly added at the end.
Ichika shrugged and made his way to the firing range to take his first shot. He stood still, raised his arms, aimed down the sight, and took a deep breath before pulling the trigger as the target passed.
The bullet flew through the air...and landed nowhere near what the target was.
'Wh-What was that? He looked like he was going to do it perfectly!' Laura thought in disbelief.
"Um, Miss Laura...can you please help me?" He gave her the puppy dog eyes again.
Laura felt nervous for some reason but she refused to let it get to her, "A-Alright." She made her way behind him and held his hand in hers to help him adjust the grip.
"First, you make sure that you have a good grip." She positioned his hands in the correct manner, "Then, you aim down the sights and make sure the target is in position." Ichika looked down the sights once again, "Now, make sure to keep your arms straight to lessen the recoil." Both of them straightened their arms. "Now fire" They pulled the trigger.
The bullet landed right in the center of the target.
"I did it!" he turned towards her and held her hand in excitement. "Thanks Miss Laura!" He was practically beaming with joy.
"Just call me Laura...we're the same age right?" She looked away nervously at the hand contact.
"Okay then. Thanks Laura!"
Laura's face flushed even more and she shook her head left and right to get rid of the incoming redness. She was a soldier she reasoned to herself, not some love struck schoolgirl.
"Can I try again?" Ichika asked.
"Alright, let's do it the same as before." She walked behind Ichika and placed his hand in hers again. She hoped he didn't notice the redness on her cheeks.
Hours later, the two made their way back to the bunker since it was getting late. Neither of them noticed how much time passed until they saw the darkness coming from the window.
"Thanks for helping me Laura." Ichika was walking side by side with Laura, stretching his arms behind his back idly. "It was fun!"
"...No problem." Laura refused to make eye contact with him and kept her stare focused on the ground in front of her.
The two of them walked in silence for a few minutes until they reached the building where they would sleep.
"So...where will I sleep Laura?" Ichika questioned her.
Now that she though of it, she didn't know either. "I don't know, let me check." She left him at the door and went to the Clarissa's office.
*tap tap tap*
Laura entered the room and saw Clarissa sitting at a table across from Chifuyu. A bottle of wine and two glasses was all that occupied the small table, making it obvious what the two were just doing.
"Lieutenant." Laura saluted despite this before asking her question, "Ichika would like to know where he will stay for the night."
Clarissa looked at Chifuyu with a smirk on her face (uh-oh) before she turned back to Laura, "I thought that'd be obvious."
Laura titled her head in confusion, "Obvious ma'am? Is there a room I'm supposed to place him in?"
Clarissa shook her head left and right, the smirk never leaving her face, "I placed him under your jurisdiction, right?" Laura just nodded "Then that should be obvious." She took another sip of her wine before continuing, "He'll be sleeping with you."
"W-What!" Laura, for the first time, couldn't keep her composure, "B-But he's-"
This time, Chifuyu interrupted her, "What's wrong? You were the only one who wasn't scrambling earlier to get closer to him. Did something change?" She asked in an "I know something happened" voice.
"N-No...nothing happened." Laura would rather die than tell them about what happened at the firing range, "I'll be going back then." Laura left the room as quickly as her legs could take her.
Waiting till her footsteps stopped, the two women opened the security console and looked at the video playing again.
"Just call me Laura...we're the same age right?"
"Okay then. Thanks Laura!"
The two of them laughed again as they took another drink, it was all going according to plan.
When Laura came back she found Ichika sleeping on the ground next to the door. He must've been more tired than he let on.
"Ichika, wake up." She shook him gently but he refused to wake up.
"5 more minutes, I don't wanna go to school yet." He mumbled softly before going back to sleep.
Laura sighed softly. This idiot had been causing trouble for her the entire day and, oddly enough, she didn't really mind it. She actually had...fun.
As she looked at his face, she saw his lips were parted slightly, inviting her to take them in hers. She was tempted to lean in and-
'WAAAAAAAH!' Realizing what she was about to do, she promptly did what any girl in her situation would do: Run around like a headless chicken.
'What's wrong with me! Am I sick? Did I get injured and receive a mental illness?' She thought in a panic.
The answer was simple. Any person could see this young girl was experiencing the one thing that would change her forever.
She was falling in love.
'No, no, no! You are a trained soldier! You do not act like some love sick girl...not that I love him or anything! No...of course not!'
She knew the truth though: She was slowly but surely falling in love with Ichika Orimura.