Here's the fluff chapter:) This chapter sees a return to romance and humor...hopefully.

MaRv3n054 - He's also my favorite playable character:) Unfortunately, Spectre sounds like a creep (I can see...everything!) and Beltway looks like he'd be a stereotypical thug due to his build (Seriously, he looks kinda square). Vector was the only choice for the scene. The only other option was HUNK, and there was no way I was putting him through any of that shite. He probably would've massacred everyone on the base, destroyed all their IS', and then kill Chifuyu on his way out:( Nobody messes with HUNK. William Birkin must've had a deathwish or something.

rm928 - I made this story when I was still addicted to New Vegas:) As such, I made some additions since I recently played Honest Hearts. The Courier is no one unique: He helped the NCR take over Vegas (After personally putting Caesar's head on a pike:p) , then got the hell out of dodge while everybody was too busy celebrating to ask him to do more random quests. Joshua came to visit him once he managed to start up his bartending business (after spending a crapload of caps making it). He did keep ED-E with him to serve as a bouncer. :D

UraniumSpoon - And if this was realistic, there would be no way for Ichika to survive even a quarter of the abuse he normally takes and be dead before volume 2. I'm not really looking for realism in the story, if the previous chapter's short shooting scene didn't show that enough. Anyway, thanks for the heads up all the same. I already know how to do proper CPR since my sister's a nurse and taught me how.

On a side note, I'd just like to remind everyone who reads that references to other forms of media shouldn't be taken seriously. There's no way the world of Fallout: New Vegas or Metro 2033 can mix in with the world of IS, so it's best not to think about it too hard.

It was a good day for all. The sun was shining, the birds were chirping, and the smell of freshly moistened leaves permeated the air. Everyone inside was happy, cheering as they all held hands and sang around in a circle while the animals chirped a beautiful melody all around them-

Oh wait, wrong story.

It was the perfect day at the base. The barbed wires were glistening, coated in a thin sheet of blood freshly taken from its unfortunate victims. The smell of burning rubber permeated the air, most likely due to the burning tires that occupied the leftmost part of the base. Even the freshly put up spikes were bent over, as if a colossal weight had fallen on them and made them tip over. Maybe it had something to do with the reason Blair was running around crying for medical attention.

Anyway, that wasn't important now. What is important is the fact that everything was back to normal. All the recruits were doing their basic training, alternating between helping and patching each other up during training. Most of them didn't care about their injuries, however, but rather on gossiping about their youngest member's budding romance.

Most of them couldn't believe their eyes when they found the new couple going into the barracks, both holding hands as if they couldn't believe what they were doing. They distinctly remembered Laura's face being as red as a tomato while Ichika had a gigantic grin on his face. While some of them felt heartbreak and jealousy at the sight, it didn't stop them from wishing the best for the happy couple. They knew Laura as the super soldier Ice queen who rarely showed emotion, so any sign of her being genuinely happy was met with joy on all of them.

Besides, Laura never said they had to stop messing with her boyfriend, right? There were still plenty of opportunities for them to have fun. Like stealing his clothes when he came out of the shower or installing a waterproof camera at the specific stall he used.

They even did the ceremonial "girl talk" all teenagers did after their friend (whether she would admit to that title or not) and kept Laura up all night. Ichika was allowed to sleep and even encouraged to put on earplugs so he wouldn't eavesdrop, a suggestion he had been happy to take considering he was practically ready to drop dead at that point. Laura felt that way too, but every attempt to get to her and Ichika's shared bed was met with a stonewall of her comrades that refused to even budge. And so, she was forced to spend all night in her wet clothes (They'd allowed Ichika to change, but refused to give her time to do so in their haste) while sleep kept gnawing at her.

Anyway, back to topic. It was a good day for all and all of the recruits were happily doing their training, ignoring the various injuries they received on the spikes, barbed wire, and various other implements. They were still energized from their talk with Laura since they had taken shifts in order to talk to her better. The first half talked to her about her new love life, while the other half talked to her about various other things. As a result, none of them felt that tired.

...Actually, there was one problem: Two of the recruits were missing. Normally this wouldn't be anything odd; sickness or skipping wasn't uncommon in the unit. What worried them, however, was the fact that it was the newly made couple that had disappeared on them.

Laura wouldn't get up off the bed no matter how hard both she and they tried pull. Her whole body was burning up and most of her body was red. The stereotypical symptoms of a fever or a cold.

They weren't stupid. The new couple with a lot of sexual tension just so happen to be absent on the day after they got together. Yeah, it was a complete and utter coincidence and there was nothing bad happening at all. The girl just happened to get sick right after he and Ichika kissed? Yeah, and all of them were donkeys.

Laura was a super soldier. Not only that, but she was very well known as both a competent recruit and a practical one. When she had a broken leg, she hopped across the obstacle field on one foot and still managed to beat everyone else. When she felt pain all over her body due to internal injuries, she took a few shots of morphine and still managed to beat everyone in the simulation game. Heck, when she went into that nuclear bombed metro station in Moscow, she managed to kill every mutant in there with nothing but a knife and a few sticks of dynamite.

Though that 20 year old Russian, Artyom, managed to beat her out in total kills, which was extremely embarrassing given that he had no combat experience and was a completely normal human. She was still slightly sore about that. Nevermind the fact that he was using weapons that looked like it was made out of pipes and rotten wood along with a knife that had nails for brass knuckles. It was a complete and accidental fluke that he managed to beat her out.

That wasn't important! What was important is that she was a strong individual who refused to let either injuries or pain stop her from doing what needed to be done. She was always capable of doing anything once she put her mind up to it.

So why in the hell was she in bed with a head cold?

"Here Laura, ahhhhhnnn~" Ichika smiled and pushed the spoon full of hot soup towards her mouth, a gesture she replied with by refusing to open her mouth. Had she been able to she also would've pushed the spoon back to him and end up dousing him on his own soup, if only to wipe the self-satisfied smirk he had on his face. It wasn't like he could help it: Seeing the ultra strict and somewhat violent super soldier sitting on a bed with a constant red face and a pair of (borrowed) loose pajama's sent his heart a flutter.

Seeing as she was sick, Ichika had taken on the sacred role of being her caretaker for the day. He was well versed in taking care of people when they got sick; a trait he had picked up after constant years taking care of Chifuyu, Houki, and even Rin. Besides, if he could treat his high strung older sister, Tsundere childhood friend, and Yandere childhood friend with almost no problems whatsoever, how hard could taking care of his girlfriend? It was going to be a cakewalk.

Answer: Extremely hard.

Laura was a lot of things. Strong, versatile, and a careful strategist were the most common terms you would hear. But those weren't her biggest traits. On the other hand, there was one thing - one thing - that stood above all of her military strength, pragmatism, and super soldier-ness.


Being who she was, she was extremely proud of herself and her accomplishments. Moscow Metro incident notwithstanding, she was the best in just about everything: Close Quarters combat, War strategy, and Gunplay. This also included the tendency to never get sick no matter what. When her teammates got sick with the flu last year all at the same time, she was the only one who managed to completely avoid the sickness and continue her training. As she liked to think to herself, 'disease feared her, not the other way around'.

Which is exactly why she found her current predicament akin to a slap in the face.

"Ichika, I'm-I'm fine!" Laura did her best to keep her blushing down, "I just need to get up and do some stretches, and maybe some sparring and combat practice, and I'll be fine."

"No way," Ichika shook his head in refusal to the absurd suggestion, "You're staying in bed today and letting me take care of you," He pushed a hand atop her head and placed some light pressure on it, keeping her down onto the bed, "Just relax for just one day and let me take care of anything you need. One day of no training won't kill you."

"Yes it will! Lack of training leads to an unfit body, and a body without much movement eventually atrophies and rots away down to the bone," She shuddered at the mental image she received, "I'll die if I don't go out there and do my regulated training! At least let me do my regular 50 lap run around the base and the flaming obstacle course that was sent in recently. I've been told it has a zero percent success rate, so I wish to prove them wrong."

'...Is she serious?' Ichika sweatdropped at the overdramatic rant his girlfriend (He was still slightly in shock he could refer to her like that) was giving him. Has she never had a sick day in her life? Or if she did, did she ignore it and continue training? That must've been a pain, "Alright Laura, you've convinced me. If you can get up from the bed without any help at all, then I'll have no choice but to let you do whatever training you want."

"R-Really?" Ichika gave her a nod and a small smile, "Then I'll be getting up now. I can't wait to see if the new knife works on those spikes- Eh?" As she made her way to get up, she felt herself still on the bed's soft surface. What was happening?"

"What's wrong? I thought you were going to get up?"

She found the problem: Ichika's hand was still on top of her head, and her weakened limbs could do little against the additional weight on top of her head. She placed her hands under it to try and take it off, but her weakened state didn't allow for much other than jilting it slightly.

"Ichika...move your hand," Her request was simple and very reasonable, but the fact that she sounded like she wanted to hurt the receiver very, very painfully if HE didn't comply made it extremely unnerving.

Ichika held strong, "But that would mean I have to expand effort to help you, which breaks our agreement and shows that you can't get off the bed without any help. It shouldn't be too hard for someone who can do 50 laps."

"Wh-What are you- Quit it!" She tried to remove his hand again, but it didn't even move an inch this time, "Damn sickness and disease! Aren't bullets and fatigue enough of an annoyance already!? Why must I be put under this damn curse of an affliction?"

"Laura..." Ichika sighed and removed his hand from atop her head, "If you can't even move my hand, what makes you think that you can do 50 laps around the base or even an obstacle course...that's on fire. You know, I still don't get the point of setting a metal spike pit on fire."

"...I'll be fine..." She replied in her 'I'm going to collapse any second now from exhaustion' voice.

"Sure you will," Ichika rolled his eyes, "Listen: I'm going to go get some medicine from the supply box and a couple of towels to cool you off a bit. Just relax for now and stay in bed till I get back, alright?"

"...You just want to kiss me, don't you?" She didn't bother even getting surprised when she found Ichika stiffening slightly, "I knew it! Heh, go ahead and kiss a sick person. Kiss a sick person and get sick when you get infected..."

Ichika for his part looked aghast at the suggestion, "I don't want to kiss a sick person! I'll get sick, and then you'll be the one who has to take care of me. And trust me; you won't like having to take care of a whiny person like me," She gave a disbelieving look at his explanation, "Besides, even if I wanted to kiss you right now - which I don't - I'm more worried about myself!" He shivered overdramatically, "I didn't tell you this earlier but when you get sick, you look kinda sad and pathetic and ugly-"

He dodged the thrown pillow that was aimed for his head. Despite her previous weakness, it appears she had enough strength to throw projectiles at him. He completely held his composure and didn't even have the slightest urge to pee in his pants when he heard the pillow smack against the metal and the distinct sound of said metal being bent inwards forcefully. Couldn't she tell he was obviously joking?

"Ugly, huh?" Laura gave him an angry glare, "Well then, I guess kissing should be put on hold even after I get better. After all, I wouldn't want to torture you with the thought making contact with someone who's ugly and pathetic."

"Now, now..." Ichika held up his hands to try and placate the sick girl, "You're speaking gibberish and nonsense again." He stood up and made his way to the door, "Look, I'll try to get some more solid food while I'm getting the meds. In the meantime, try to drink the soup and then get some beauty sleep while you can...though I'm not so sure how much the beauty part will apply in your current condition-"

He didn't bother ducking against the second projectile thrown against, but rather run as fast as he could against the door and use it as a shield from the impending doom.


Once again, he didn't even feel the slightest urge to pee himself when the imprint of what looked suspiciously like a pillow imbedded itself just a couple of inches from his head. It was probably just his imagination. Yup, just his imagination.

Well, time to get those supplies for the sick princess.

"And then...he was gone..."

Chifuyu sighed for the umpteenth time that day as she heard her old friend 'reminisce' about her experiences with the weird bandage mummy. She told her - she really did! - that getting involved with a guy who was rumored to have been thrown off by the Grand canyon while on fire was a bad idea. The entire trip to the two, she told her to think her actions through and to be careful about basing a crush on something she read about in a shoujo manga.

And now what?

Joshua was gone, disappeared to some far off canyon (Probably going to try jumping after he covers himself in spikes instead of fire this time) and left Clarissa behind. Chifuyu had to admit that she expected this to happen; seriously, the guy talked about leading tribals and teaching them to defend themselves from enemies. Did Clarissa really expect him to stick around after he said that?

Chifuyu was at least glad that Joshua confirmed that he didn't have sex with her. Other than the fact that she was happy that the images of...'that' (Seriously, how would that even work?) were proven false, it at least proved that he wasn't the type to 'fuck and go'. Still, now he had to deal with Clarissa's whining about lost love.

"Clarissa, seriously. You knew the guy for a few hours, and I was with your for most of them. I went to get something to eat that 'Courier' guy for 2 hours, which is probably the only time you two actually spent alone, and now you're pining like you lost the love of your life?" Chifuyu resisted the urge to sigh again as her friend nodded, "Seriously? Clarissa, real life isn't a romance manga and things like this happen all the time. You're better off moving forward and making sure you base your next choice on something more than something you saw in a manga."

Clarissa didn't reply, but the pained sobs (Seriously?) had finally stopped. It seems that she finally managed to calm down and think about how stupid she was being.

"...Says the one who managed to get a date from last night."

Or maybe not.

"Date? What the hell are you talking about?" Chifuyu demanded, "If you're talking about that guy from last night, then you're mistaken. We just went to get something to eat to leave you two alone... not to mention I really didn't want to see you and him start your little PDA. It was either that or I see you two, so I chose the other."

"Then why do you have his phone number?" Clarissa challenged back.


Shit, she had her there, "He gave it to me in case I needed help with something. He said he used to do work as a Courier and jack-of-all-trades kind of guy a year ago, and he gave me his phone number so I could contact him if I had any problems I didn't want to deal with." Chifuyu explained truthfully.

"Really...?" The suspicious stare Clarissa was giving her made it obvious that she didn't believe her. Why were they even talking about this? They needed to focus on Laura's little deadline since the experiment would be taking place in just a couple of weeks. Having her get into a relationship was both fun and amusing, but they needed to discuss what they needed to do next. With Ichika as another anchor, maybe she could find the will to reject the experiment and live through it. If she remained just a soldier, then the results would be unpleasant for everyone.

"Look, I'll call him right now and ask about Joshua if we could just drop this and start talking about the upcoming experiment. That should also prove I'm not going out on blind dates with him. Do you agree?" Clarissa nodded rapidly in response, "Alright, hold on a second..." Chifuyu fished into her pockets and pulled out her phone before dialing the recently added number.

It took a few seconds of ringing, but eventually the line picked up.

"Hey, are you there?" She received no reply. Double checking the phone, she confirmed that the receiver did in fact pick up, "Hey, I wanted to ask you some questions about that friend of yours," Again there was no reply from the other side. Chifuyu felt a vein pop on her forehead, "I can't tell if you're ignoring me or you're just being an ass, but you should-"


Chifuyu nearly dropped the phone at the sound of the loud explosion. She checked around the area quickly and prepared in case of any possible attacks. But there was nothing; no gunshots, explosions, or attacks, at least not around her. The source of the sound was something more compact: Her Cellphone.

"Did your phone just explode?" Clarissa gave her a questioning look.

"Yeah..." Chifuyu nodded and placed the device back into her ear, "Hey, are you there? Are you hurt or anything?"

Another few seconds of silence before she finally received a reply, "Hey, is this Ms. Orimura?" The distinctly male voice was familiar, "Sorry I couldn't answer earlier, I'm a bit busy here- Artyom, shoot that sniper on the train!" The distinct sounds of bullets being fired and a scream followed the demand, "Anyway, I'm kinda busy right now, so can you make this quick? We're on a really cramped rail car, so shooting while talking is kind of- Oh for God's sake, just use the grenades! We really don't have to worry about conserving ammo now, do we?"

More explosions, bullets, and screams echoed out from her phone. If Chifuyu wasn't Chifuyu, she might have gotten worried that the person at the other end was in trouble. Being a Mondo Grosso champion who regularly received threats had its advantages.

"I was going to ask you about your friend Joshua, but it sounds like you're busy right now. Now I'm more interested in what exactly you're doing." She commented in an unnaturally calm tone.

"Joshua? He said he was going back to Zion park to help those tribal friends of his. Anyway, he said he wouldn't be back for a while and that I should give his apologies to that friend of yours," There was another pause as more gunshots fired, "As for what I'm doing. Long story short; me, Artyom, and his friend Kahn are trying to get into a Russian Nazi prison train to break out a prisoner I know nothing about because I owe Artyom a favor. Nothing beyond the usual."

"Uh-huh..." Chifuyu actually found herself agreeing with him. She herself had agreed to teach a group of teenage German girls both army training and how to pilot IS', completely ignoring the fact that this was most likely illegal and various human rights groups would be suing this place once they found out the age of the participants, all because she owed a favor to the German Military command, "Well, I'll leave you to it then."

"Wait. Actually, I need a favor- Hold, place the phone off your ear, " Chifuyu did so. And not much after that, the sounds of explosions and twisting metal reverberated from the phone, "Sorry about that. Khan shot a railcar in front of us. Anyway, I need your help with something."

Intriguing, "What about?"

"Artyom needs somewhere to stay once this little thing's over with, so he's staying with me for a bit. Thing is I don't know the area very well apart from the small town. That friend of yours from last night was a local, right? Think she can show him around? I'd do it myself, but I haven't updated my pip-boy for the area and- Jump, Artyom, Jump!"

The sounds of a train horn and a few grunts reached her ears before the line disconnected. Well, it seems like he was almost finished.

"So, what did he say?" Oh right, Clarissa was here as well. She almost forgot about her.

" do you feel about Russian's?"

"I told you I'm fine!"

"And I told you that you need to let others help!"

Back at the building full of bunk beds, the new couple continued their pointless war for supremacy against one another.

"You didn't even eat the soup!" Ichika shook his head in disapproval and grabbed the now cold soup from the side table, "Here, it should still be healthy enough and it'll put your fever down if you drink it all in one sitting."

"No! I said I don't need it!" She pushed the spoon back towards him and, in the process, ended up spilling the contents against his lap, "See? I can push the spoon away now, which means I'm already getting better on my own."

Okay, his patience was getting shot! He did his best, anybody who saw what he did would agree, and stayed patient despite Laura's constant rebuttals, counters, and complaints. Laura was his girlfriend, and while he knew that she had her own little quirks, he refused to let that get in the way of her health.

He left earlier feeling optimistic, but that changed almost immediately when he came back to see her completely ignoring his advice and running around the bunkhouse like a chipmunk on caffeine. He had to tackle her and force her down into the bed to stop her from collapsing.

"Okay, let's skip the soup..." He grabbed the wet towel and wrung it a little bit stronger than needed. To his credit, he managed to keep his voice calm and on the level, "I'm going to put this on your head and it'll hopefully cool you off (in more ways than one)"

Much to his surprise, Laura actually complied with the order and allowed the wet cloth to be placed on her forehead. Maybe she was finally starting to realize it was stupid being so stubborn.

"Do you feel too hot or too cold? It may be a sign that your fever is getting worse if your temperature spikes up."

"Mmmn, not really," Laura shook her head weakly, "I'm actually getting better now. Maybe after you remove this cloth from my forehead I'll be good enough to finish my laps around the bunkhouse."

"...Not gonna happen," He ignored Laura's protests and grabbed the cloth from her head before dousing it again in water, "I said that you should stop training for at least one day, so I don't want to see any running, jumping, combat rolls, sparring, or whatever else you can think of." He gave her his trademark 'Mother hen' glare. Not even Chifuyu could talk back when he gave her that look.

"Just please rest for today. If not for you, then do it for me."

"...Fine..." Laura pouted off to the side and stuck her lips out in a completely unprofessional manner. Had she been more lucid, she might have realized how she was acting, "I think this is stupid and pointless, but if it'll make you happy I...I guess it won't hurt for me to follow it. A-A-After all, I'll be a failure as a girlfriend if I can't do something like this."

If Laura wasn't sick, Ichika would've been tempted to kiss her right then and there. The red face, couple with the adorable expression and the 'Tsundere' words, reminded him just why he put up with all her quirks.

"Okay then," Ichika gave a radiant smile, "I got some meds from the supply box that should cause the fever to go down, and I hear it works extremely fast. Just swallow the pill and-"

"No." She interrupted him with her usual flat tone.

...Had he misheard her?

"Um...Laura? Is the concept of taking medicine completely alien to you?" He shook his head in disbelief, "Even soldier's take their medicine and need first aid when they get hurt. Don't you remember that first aid training course we took yesterday? "

"I remember just fine, Ichika! I agreed to stop training and any other strenuous activities for today, but that doesn't change the fact that I'm a super soldier. I can deal with this just fine on my, given enough time and rest. The medicine is completely irrelevant."

Argh, just when he thought he was finally making some progress with her! Couldn't she stay sweet for more than a couple of minutes and make life infinitely easier for the two of them? It was like she was trying to rile him up on purpose.

He needed to reverse that logic somehow, "So you're saying that if your team rescues you from nearly drowning and you swallowed a lot of water, you wouldn't need CPR at all?" He had an idea. It was a crazy idea, and it would most likely bite him back in the ass later, but it was an idea.

"Don't be foolish," Laura harrumphed as if she talking to a child, "A disease is nothing compared to situational internal injuries like invasion of liquids. While I believe something like swallowing a pill is pointless and wastes resources, I can see the value of correctly done CPR-"

"Then open wide!"

Laura had no choice but to open her mouth as Ichika's hand shoved the black pill quickly against her lips. As she made to spit out the offending matter, she found herself blocked by the thing she both detested and craved at this point: His lips.

"Mmmph!" She pounded her small fists roughly against his chest, but the attacker refused to budge even an inch. The black pill was being pushed by her tongue away from her throat, with Ichika doing his best to make her swallow it. She could've pushed him off, she knew that, but a part of her didn't want him to. Just like earlier when he placed a hand atop her head, a part of her didn't want to go back to training and just let her take care of him. Evidently, that (annoying) part of her was winning out again.

She was ashamed to admit it, but she felt addicted to their little shows of affection. It was extremely unprofessional and sick, but it was true. The slight hugs and kisses they did had become an integral part of what she found to be extremely satisfying.

She knew she would win this match, however; her breathing time had been augmented to be longer than a normal human beings by a landslide. He couldn't use his mouth for a block much longer.

Ichika seemed to realize the exact same thing. It was time to take it to the next level.

"!?" Laura's eyes widened as she felt his tongue snake his way into her mouth and try to push the pill backwards. It was a battle for domination, a battle in which Laura found herself losing. She was used to CQC, long drawn out battles, a battle where she used every advantage she had. In this particular field, she held no advantage whatsoever.

Neither of them knew how long they held that position. Laura because she had gotten lightheaded and dizzy from the feeling of the intimate contact, Ichika because he found himself lacking severely in the oxygen department the longer it continued. Eventually, however, the black pill found itself entering Laura's esophagus and the two of them separated.

As the two of them separated, a thin string of saliva formed a sort of bridge between their lips. Both of their cheeks were also dyed red, though whether it was due to embarrassment, lack of breath, or both was a mystery.

Ichika took a deep gulp of air, relishing every little amount of oxygen that passed through his lips, "...That wasn't exactly how I thought I'd get to tier 4, but I'll take what I can get..." His words carried joke and mirth, but his voice lacked the usual cheerfulness and emotion it usually had. He did his best to ensure their contact was minimal, so he wouldn't get sick, "I'm sorry about that, Laura. You can yell at me or beat me up later if you want, but I need to take a breath first and-"

Laura didn't let him finish before she grabbed the sides of his face and pulled him forward, taking him in another deep kiss, "Wei, wauwa (Wait, Laura!)" He shouldn't be kissing her! She was sick and saliva was the most common way for sickness to be transferred. He would get sick at this rate.

Again, Laura ignored him and pressed the kiss deeper. He didn't like it? Tough luck. He shouldn't have tricked her like that and taken the next step without her consent. 'Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned'. This went double when said woman - though she was really more of a girl - was a super soldier capable of feats of extreme strength.

Summoning all his adrenaline, he finally managed to pull his amorous partner off him and regain his breath. He could feel his cheeks warming up again, but he had a feeling it was more than him being embarrassed by her actions.

"Wait, Laura...we need to take your temperature," He rummaged through the table and pulled out the see-through rod, "Just open your mouth and- no kissing!" He backed away when it looked like the silverette made plans to express her affections again, "I was serious about not kissing while you're sick. Now, open your mouth so I can take your temperature."

Laura shook her head in refusal. Ichika felt a vein pop at her answer, "You already kissed me earlier, so what's stopping you from taking your temperature."

Laura mumbled something incoherently. Ichika had to get closer to make out her words, "...Mouth's kind of sore."

"Sore? What are you-" Realization dawned on Ichika's face, "You have a mouth sore, don't you? Hold on, hold on. If you had a mouth sore, why were you kissing me earlier?" Thankfully mouth sores weren't infectious, at least not as far as he knew, so he would be safe.

"...I thought it was worth it. A soldier is taught to take pain if it accomplishes a goal." She 'explained'.

Ichika sighed, "Well we can't take your temperature like this. There's another thermometer here, but ...I don't think you're going to like where I have to place it?"

"Why?" Laura's eyes looked genuinely curious, something Ichika had dreaded, "Is it anywhere fatal?"

" Actually, it goes up the-"

Outside the bunkhouse, all the recruits stopped their assigned training at the sound of the loud scream that echoed from within. This was followed by the sight of possibly the oddest thing they'd seen in the entire time they'd stayed here.

A loosely clothed Laura running around barefoot with a panting Ichika right behind her holding a thermometer.

"Wait, Laura! I need to take your temperature!" He yelled after her, waving the see through utensil around like a weapon, "I promise it won't hurt!"

"You aren't getting anywhere near me with that thing!" For some inexplicable reason, she followed this with grabbing hold of the pajama bottoms and hiking them up straight to her stomach, "I said I'm fine, so I don't need that!"

The other girls just stared at the two of them as they continued to circle the base. They would never understand the thought process of a couple in love.


Karma had an odd sense of humor, as Ichika found out the next day. Lying on the bed with a high fever, a part of him couldn't help but feel he deserved this outcome for using such an odd tactic to feed her medicine.

Laura couldn't help but smirk at the reversal of fortunes. Irony was so delicious, especially when it was in her favor. The others were out during practice and the two of them were the only people with

"Ichika~" Her overtly sweet tone caused a shiver to run down his spine. And it wasn't due to the cold, "First we're going to take your temperature, and then I'll have to do feed you the pill afterwards."

Sweat started to form at his brow when she brandished the thermometer and black pill, "Laura...I don't have any mouth sores...and I can eat that thing by myself." He helpfully reminded her.

Laura smiled and pushed the pill against his closed mouth, as if she didn't hear a single word he had just said. With her other hand, she skillfully started to pull down his pants despite his best efforts. If he was normal, he might've fought her off, but it was impossible in his current sick state.

"I know."

But Vengeance was too sweet to pass up, and it wasn't like it would be all bad for him. She had a feeling he would at least enjoy the second part.

She licked her lips slightly in anticipation.

That's it for this chapter.

Next update - Infinite Stratos: Reversal or Future Imperfect. You guys decide.