A/N: Firstly, I want to thank all the people who stayed with me during the story and kept writing comments. Thank you, without you I would probably never got to this point.
This is the last chapter, it's rather short and it's more of an epilogue to the whole story. Have a good read.
The Meaning of Us
Nanoha opened her eyes, lazily looking around. The bed she was lying in was empty so she assumed that her other half had already took their daughter and left to work. The brunette stretched lightly and felt how sore her body was after the last night. The memory came back to her, making her blush and smile at the thought alone. Yes, there happened a lot in the last evening. Her girlfriend came back home, informing that she got a promotion, so Nanoha treated her to a fancy dinner and then... things turned into an entirely different direction.
The brunette looked at her watch. It was already 9am and, because of some minor renovation works in her own office, she had a whole day free. But just sitting alone in her house was not something she wanted to do, waiting for her significant other's come back, so she decided to take care of a few things she planned to do some time before.
Nanoha started her day in a pretty standard way, washing her face, then making her favourite sweet sandwiches for breakfast and a large cup of green tea, humming cheerily during that. Next, after picking out some clothes, she went to a bathroom and started combing her long, brown hair, spotting some split ends by the way. Making a mental note to call her hairdresser later, she tied her hair into an off-centred ponytail and started to put a light make up. After that, just a little bit of perfume was all that was left and she was ready for the day.
Shopping was the first thing of Nanoha's 'to-do' list. Except for a few things from a grocery shop she needed, for the bigger shopping was something she usually did with her girlfriend, she wanted to go to a jewellery shop on the other side of the city. She opened a garage and sat in her brand new, fancy car her mothers bought her in reward for finishing her studies with great marks and getting a work she dreamt of for a long time. The car was in Nanoha's favourite colours, white and blue, and, what was the most important for the brunette, it was incredibly comfortable inside.
The grocery shop was the girl's first stop. Buying some things for a dinner didn't take her too long so, after fifteen minutes, she was sitting inside her car again. The jewellery shop, owned by her friend, was Nanoha's next destination and probably the most important one. She had only a few days left to her and her girlfriend's anniversary and she needed to finally choose a proper gift for her other half. However, the task wasn't easy at all. After spending almost an hour in the shop, Nanoha still couldn't decide what to buy. She had picked out a few things but in the end she wasn't sure so she gave herself another day to think about it.
After coming back home, Nanoha started cleaning. Her daughter's birthday also was coming near so she expected their family and friends paying them a visit soon. The house the brunette was living in was quite large, located on the city's outskirts, making her surroundings peaceful and quiet. Tidying and cleaning such a big mansion was a rather difficult thing to do for only one person. But on the other hand, Nanoha assumed that her girlfriend would be tired after coming back from work so the brunette wanted to do everything herself. It was already 2pm by the time she finished. She had a while to rest before making a dinner for her fiancée.
Nanoha looked at a small, silver ring on her finger, gently stroking it in a caring manner, and smiled at the memory of her girlfriend proposing to her a few months ago. Although their marriage wasn't going to be 'official', they managed to arrange the wedding ceremony as if they were 'normal' couple. All of Nanoha's family and friends were invited and the girl couldn't help but get excited every time she thought how she would look like in a white wedding dress.
Yes, Nanoha was definitely living a happy life. She had a great work and loving people surrounding her. Was there something else she could long for? She went to a living room and looked at an impressive collection of photographs decorating the walls. Photos of her with her girlfriend, with her daughter, with both of them, the brunette's friends and family. She moved to the last one, picked it up and touched the glass dividing her and a young-looking, blond-haired girl on the paper. "It's been so long, Fate-chan..." She said silently to herself, smiling lightly, when the memories of her teenage years spent with her sister came back to her. Nanoha caressed the frame gently before putting the picture of sixteen-years old Fate back on the wall and sitting on a large, black couch. She stretched again and laid down. A few minutes of sleep before making dinner wouldn't hurt. She closed her eyes.
"Nanoha?!" Fate exclaimed, opening her eyes sharply. Had she fallen asleep? The blonde found herself still in her sister's room, lying on her bed and covered with blanket, but the brunette was nowhere to be seen. It was already evening, the sky behind the window was turning more and more red and the house was filled with disturbing silence. Fate stood up and went to the bathroom to wash her face. A feeling of cold water made her awake and more conscious of what was happening around her. Then a vivid memory of what happened a few hours ago hit her hard and painfully. She pressed her fingers to her lips, leaning back on the wall. She had kissed her sister. Not once, not twice but many times. She was the one who initiated their frantic make out session. And she liked it. She could admit that she was confused and surprised by her own acting but she liked it. But that was not what she was concerned with. Nanoha was the biggest of her worries. Had she scarred the girl with her behaviour? Or worse, had she unwittingly hurt her? The blonde scolded herself mentally for not thinking about it before she acted.
So where was Nanoha? The last thing Fate remembered was the sound of the crying girl and the warmth of her body as they were lying on the bed, hugging each other tightly. She really must had fallen asleep at some point and Nanoha used it to sneak out of the room. Fear arose in Fate when she realised that the girl might had done something stupid because of the blonde's earlier excess. Quickly, she left the bathroom and went back to the brunette's, still empty, room. She had to find her sister as fast as possible.
Fate checked the garden and, when she found no one there, she went to the kitchen, her own room and then to the living-room. Her mothers were already there, which also meant that she had probably missed her dinner. "Have you seen Nanoha?" Fate asked as soon as she entered the room, frantically looking around.
"Fate?" Precia turned her head towards her daughter. "Were you at home all the time?"
"Huh?" The blonde gave the woman a surprised look. Something was wrong, she felt it clearly. "I was sleeping in Nanoha's room. Why are you asking?"
"We thought that you went together." Momoko answered, making Fate only more confused.
"Went where?" The girl asked, the situation began to twist dangerously and the blonde didn't like it.
"To the post office." Precia explained. "To send Nanoha's application to the college."
Fate's heart started to beat faster and she felt an unpleasant feeling in her stomach. "She went..." The blonde started but couldn't finish. Why? She thought that the problem was solved, that Nanoha was going to stay with her. She gave her mothers a scarred and questioning look. Precia just nodded her head, pointing at the door and Fate instantly got the message.
She ran to the front door, changing her boots quickly, and then to the street. Where was the nearest post office? She stopped, trying to catch her breath while thinking desperately where Nanoha could go. She didn't know when her sister left, she could had already get there. Fate assumed that the brunette went to the city centre, there was a certain way they liked to walk together from time to time and Nanoha was most likely to go there. The blonde ran as fast as she could, trying to avoid colliding with other people. Although she had rather liked her physical education classes in high school, in that moment she lost her breath pretty quickly. But the sheer fear of loosing her sister was making her push further so she didn't stop. She didn't stop even though her legs started to hurt so badly that she could barely run, she didn't stop when her own hair and sweat were almost covering her eyes. And then she saw her.
Nanoha was standing on a wide bridge, leaning on the railing and looking at the water. Her gaze wandering somewhere far, far away from her. Fate stopped finally a few meters from her, breathing heavily, almost spitting her lungs when she got a serious coughing fit. The brunette, hearing her sister, slowly turned to her, surprised and compassionate in the same time. "Why?" Fate stammered, looking at the brunette with her red eyes, clearly expressing her sadness. Then, she spotted a letter in Nanoha's hand. So she hadn't sent it yet. The blonde wanted to let out a sigh of relief but was stopped by her sister's words.
"I don't want to push you into this, Fate-chan." She said, sadly but firmly. "You know what's going to happen if people get to know the true nature of our relationship. Some may accept it and... some may not."
The blonde clenched her fists. So now it was the main reason. "You don't push me into anything." Fate answered with apparent determination. "I am the one willing to be with you," She continued when Nanoha couldn't find her words to answer. "Why won't you give it a chance?" The blonde raised her voice but it was obvious that she was going to loose her self control in a matter of minutes. "You are so selfish, Nanoha," The brunette's eyes widened but it didn't stop Fate. "Not because you love me, but because you want to take this burden alone!" She was already at the edge. "Why do you have to act this way?! Why do you want to push away everyone who tries to help you?!" She exclaimed, clenching both of her fists so tightly that her nails left white marks on them. Then, she took a few deep breaths and only a surprised look on Nanoha's face made her realise that she went too far. "I'm sorry." Fate looked down and leaned on the railing, next to her sister, gazing at the water beneath the bridge.
Nanoha's expression turned to her normal one again. Fate's words were powerful, but it was not enough to convince the girl. "Fate-chan," She started, shyly reaching out her hand to pat the blonde's arm. "Thank you," She said with an honest voice. "Thank you for all your efforts."
"You still don't believe me, do you?" Fate asked, sighing loudly. Why was the brunette so stubborn?
"I do, Fate-chan, but..." Nanoha stopped, turning her head in a different direction. "You deserve a normal life, you don't need people calling you 'freak' or laughing at your... preferences."
"I believe that it's my decision to make." The blonde responded with somewhat cold tone, but still showing her concern about her sister. This whole situation was starting to annoy her, not because she had to go out of her way for Nanoha, but because the brunette was finding more and more things that Fate hadn't really thought about before. And the worst thing was that the girl was right. At least in most of them. The blonde wasn't particularly concerned with strangers' opinions but it was true that living in a romantic relationship with her own sister could make their lives very complicated.
"It is, Fate-chan," Nanoha gently put her hand on top of Fate's. "But I wouldn't be able to forgive myself if you were to waste your life because of me-"
"My life will be wasted without you!" Fate shouted, it was enough for her. The brunette stepped back a little, looking at her feet. "What do I need to do to make you finally realise that?" The blonde was always calm and composed but things Nanoha was saying in that moment were just about to drive her crazy. "How can I convince you?" She asked a lot more silently. "Do you want me to kiss you again?" She asked honestly. No sarcasm, no teasing.
Nanoha took it as an obvious joke. She giggled and smiled finally. "You know, Fate-chan, I wouldn't mind it but-" She didn't finish. Fate didn't let her. The blonde pulled the girl closer and kissed her passionately. Definitely not in the way that most of sisters do. Her action gathered attention of most of passer-bys on the bridge. Nanoha looked at them with a corner of her eye, seeing some of them talking with themselves silently, some of them just watching. When Fate pulled back, Nanoha was only able to stare blankly into the blonde's beautiful eyes.
"Please, Nanoha," Fate broke the silence between them. "Please believe me. And believe in my feelings."
Nanoha couldn't respond, still shocked, her mind trying to analyse everything that happened a while ago. Fate cupped her cheek and gave the brunette another kiss, this time slow and gentle. Nanoha closed her eyes. The touch of her sister's lips on her own took her to another world, filled with incredible warmth and bliss. And when it ended, she suddenly felt so lost. Nanoha felt a wave of tears coming closer and she couldn't take it any more. "Fate-chan!" She threw herself into the blonde's open arms, crying loudly. "Fate-chan!" She repeated, feeling the blonde's fingers combing her hair. "Fate-chan..." Her voice got weaker. "I'm so sorry..."
"I love you, Nanoha," Fate gave the brunette a kiss on her head. "I always will." She hugged her tightly. A rather large group of people was surrounding them, Fate looked around and saw many smiles, even hearing a few congratulations. And she couldn't help but smile on her own. Her heart was beating so fast, filled with hope and love she didn't even know about the day before. "Let's go home, Nanoha." Fate spoke gently, wiping her sister's tears and slowly leading her to their house.
Nanoha obeyed without any complaint. She felt ashamed that she made the blonde do so many things for her. And then she realised that they had just solved the problem Nanoha was trying to get rid of for last four years. The thought made her cheer up instantly and instead of thinking how stupid she was, she started to wonder about the best way to make up for the mess she made. And then she was hit by another issue. The problem that was the final one to solve before she could ease her mind. "Fate-chan..." Yes, she definitely should be the one asking this question. "In that case, will you be my girlfriend?" She spoke the last words shyly, almost in fearful manner.
"Of course I will." Fate's answer was fast and simple. She had already made up her mind. She wanted to share the rest of her life with Nanoha and, if the brunette was also willing to do so, there was nothing that could stop her. And when a group of guys tried to ask them out, she got rid of them so fast, that even her sister was amazed.
"You're possessive, Fate-chan." Nanoha accused with fake pout but smiled, seeing a little jealous expression on the blonde's face.
"I know." Fate put her hand around the brunette and pulled her closer. "If it's you then I want you to be mine and only mine." She stated and her cheeks became a little red. It was a bit embarrassing statement, even after kissing her sister in public.
"Thank you, Fate-chan." Nanoha leaned her head on Fate's arm as they were walking back home. "I love you too." Then, she remembered about the letter she was still holding. She looked at it one more time and, seeing her sister staring at it, she tore it into small pieces. Soon everything would change. For worse or for better – It didn't matter to them as long as they were together.
A sound of opening the front door woke Nanoha up from her dream. She rubbed her eyes and looked at her watch, sighing. It was already 5pm, had she slept that long? She was supposed to be making dinner at that moment. She wanted to stand up but a pair of hands wrapped around her neck, not allowing her to do so. She felt familiar scent and a smile appeared on her face. The brunette closed her eyes, tilting cutely her head and her lips met with her girlfriend's. A sweet kiss after waking up was something she missed since that morning.
"Have you slept well?" The girl asked.
"Um, I did." Nanoha stood up finally and turned around, leaning on the couch. "Welcome home, Fate-chan."
"I'm home, Nanoha." Fate smiled warmly and gave her sister another kiss, this time not only longer and deeper, but also interrupted by a small girl who entered the room after a while.
"Nanoha-mama!" The child hugged the brunette's leg tightly.
"Vivio," Nanoha picked her daughter up and gave her a kiss on a cheek. "How was your school today?"
A large smile appeared on Vivio's face as she threw her arms around her mother's neck. "Great!" She exclaimed. "Can I invite my friends to come to my birthday party?" She looked at the woman with her pleading, red and green eyes which neither Nanoha, nor Fate could resist.
"Of course you can." Nanoha answered with a mild voice and Fate just giggled, seeing the brunette giving up so easily to something so small and cute. Then again, Vivio wasn't their biological daughter and her life before meeting the two sisters wasn't easy at all. They had found her on a street, dirty and scarred. It came out that her parents died in a burglary a few years ago and she hadn't had any family to take care of her. On top of that, she had ran away from her substitute family in which she was treated as a third wheel. Nanoha's heart almost broke after seeing little Vivio's hard situation so, along with Fate, she decided to take care of her. With some help of the local police, she became the girl's official mother while Fate took the role of her godmother.
Vivio got much love from her new family. Her mothers took their new responsibilities very seriously while her grandmothers couldn't be more happy when they got to know that they had a new family member. Everyone decided to keep Nanoha and Fate's sisterhood a secret from the child. That knowledge, however, was going to be passed to the girl in the right time.
Nanoha turned to Fate, also kissing the blonde on the cheek. "Thanks for picking Vivio from school."
Fate just smiled and hugged both her fiancée and her daughter. Nanoha leaned her head on her sister's arm, sighing contently, when her gaze stopped at a certain picture. "It's been so long, Fate-chan..." She said silently, closing her eyes.
"Since when?" Fate asked curiously, kissing Nanoha's head, then Vivio's forehead.
The brunette giggled lightly and, covering her daughter's eyes, she gave Fate a quick peck on the lips, whispering to her ear. "Since I've fallen in love with you."
A/N: Thank you for reading this, if you have some suggestions, that could help me with becoming a better writer, don't be afraid to voice them. I appreciate every constructive criticism you can give me.
And the story is over, if you liked it and want to read more, don't be afraid, this is not the end. I came to like this setting even more than at the beginning and it's very possible that I'll write a one shot or two about Nanoha and Fate's life after the change from 'sisters' to 'lovers'.
For now, I have an M rated story planned, it will be called "Breaking the Ice" and it's going to be about their first time. I also want to use it as an opportunity to close some threads I had to leave here so you can expect some plot mixed with gentle lovemaking, nothing too graphic or explicit. How do you like the idea?
One more time, thank you, check my profile for updates regarding new stories and 'till the next time.