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Knight of L-sama
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Wherever you aren't. :D
This bit had a lot of italics, including a flashback, but I was too lazy to even do my /slash/ stuffs. It's all italicized in my Word doc tho, so if this ever makes it to ff.net, it'd be correct there.
Angsty debatable NanoFate and HayaFate ahead...
Haya Fate! pt 3
A shudder went through Fate’s body as she was startled awake. After looking around in a daze for a few moments, her eyes landed on Signum. “Oh… ‘morning, Signum.”
Signum frowned, which wasn’t that far from her usual expression. “It’s the middle of the afternoon, Fate.”
“Oh… is it?” Fate yawned behind her hand as she leaned back to look out the window. The sun was high in the air. “So it is.”
There was silence, and then Signum asked bluntly, “Are you taking care of yourself?”
“What? Of course I am.” Fate smiled as she stood up to stretch before sitting back down at her desk. “I just dozed off for a bit. I’m fine, really. Did you need something, Signum? Oh, those folders… did the reports come in then?”
Even as Fate held out her hand to receive the folders, Signum made no move to give them to her. Her eyes stared hard at Fate, examining, scrutinizing, judging. “How much sleep did you get last night?”
“What…? That doesn’t really have anything to do with anything, now does it?” Fate smiled with soft exaggeration. “I might have lost a few hours of sleep doing overtime, but I had to finish up some rep-“
“You were never like this when you were with Hayate.”
The truth in that single statement hit a nerve, causing Fate to throw down her pen as she stood up. “Signum, please! This has nothing to do with Nanoha, okay? Please, just drop it.”
“I’m just concerned. As a friend.” Signum’s eyes trailed down to Fate’s shoulder, where her shirt had loosened enough that a hint of a bruise that was much larger than the bit that was visible.
Fate quickly adjusted her shirt, retying her neck ornament, a black ribbon.
Signum only continued to look at her, passive yet… full of an indignation that Fate could discern easily after spending so much time with the pink-haired warrior.
Before her silent accusation, Fate found that she no longer had any energy to defend herself. Though she did not sit down, she looked towards the floor off to the left. Meekly, she whispered, “I was careless in the last fight.”
“It was a practice spar.”
“Nanoha would never hurt you, even in a practice spar, unless she had cause to be mad at you.”
Fate knew this all too well, and found herself unable to defend once again.
Signum set the folders on the desk and turned to leave the small office. With her hand on the doorknob and her back to Fate, she stopped to say one last thing. “Testerossa… Even if it hurts, you have to remember to take care of yourself. You hurt more people if you don’t than if you do.”
Left alone, Fate slumped down in her chair, cupping her face with both hands. As she felt the tears well up, she felt the weakness seep into her system. She had loved Nanoha almost her whole life- certain for the majority of the time they had known each other. She was the main attraction, not Hayate. Hayate had just been a brief side show in their crazy experimental high school years.
That was over and done with. Back to the featured presentation.
Fate’s shoulder shook as she tried to keep herself from being too loud, despite knowing that her office was soundproofed. What had gone wrong? What had happened to make her feel this way?
It wasn’t Nanoha. It wasn’t. Fate refused to believe that. Nanoha was so sweet, so kind, so good. She had been the one to save Fate when her mother had left her to die. She had been the one to ask for her name, so that she might call her name, so that they might be friends. She had… had…
‘Had’ was past tense. Now was when she was dating Nanoha. Now was when she had finally gotten her hands on what she had coveted for as long as she could remember.
Now… she was as much in love with Nanoha as ever, right? Right?
Fate remembered a private sleepover, the last one she had shared with Hayate before they had broken up.
She remembered giggling together, making teasing remarks about each other and about their friends, all in good fun. They speculated on when Arisa and Suzuka had first fallen in love with each other.
Fate nearly choked on the laughter that bubbled up against the tide of grief.
She forced herself to remember that there were happy times with the White De- with Nanoha. They hadn’t been dating long in the grand scheme of things, but that didn’t really matter. They had known each other for so long after all.
They had always been best friends, and yet, something so much more than that.
They had history.
What history did she have with Hayate that Nanoha didn’t also have? They had met Hayate together. They had fought her together. They had fought with her together.
Together, they were the three Aces.
Fate threw her head back, staring lifelessly at the light fixture, with the back of her hand acting as a buffer. Nanoha had been nothing but kind to her. There was no reason to feel guilty or doubtful. They were the perfect couple.
Perfect… yes, perfect. When they were together, no one could contest that they were a few hairs short of unbeatable. They knew what needed to get done and what they could trust the other to take care of without even consulting each other. Their hearts were bonded in ways that were irrevocable.
It was constricting.
That’s what Hayate had going for her- that their relationship had been free. They weren’t bound at the hip. They never had to worry about tripping over each other. No one expected any of them, and there was freedom in that too.
Fate smiled softly, remembering how the ‘all-important confession’ had taken place.
“Hayate! What are you doing to that poor girl? Leave her alone!”
Hayate had turned to her, releasing the frightened lamb of a freshman to scurry away. She had pouted and said, “She was perfectly willing, I’ll have you know. Now you’ll have to take responsibility.”
Fate stepped back, unsure of what she had gotten into. “What do you mean?”
Hayate advanced. “I mean… God was very generous with you, wasn’t He?”
Fate blushed, crossing her arms in front of her chest. “Hayate…”
And then, with a single pounce, Hayate had trapped Fate between herself and the wall of the school. “I’ve always liked you, you know. You’re really my type.”
Fate looked away, not daring to see the truth in Hayate’s eyes. “You shouldn’t judge people by the size of their chests.”
Fate looked over then, stunned by the sudden drop of frivolity.
Hayate took a step back, freeing her. “I really like you, Fate-chan. We could have a lot of fun together.”
Fate sighed. Had she ever managed to say those words back to her? Hayate would probably remember. Fate had always been horrible at vocalizing her feelings. She’d always counted on her lovers to simply know that they were loved. Through her actions, if not her words.
Fate wiped her eyes and tried to shake off her emotions. She had work to do. For better or for worse, she was with Nanoha now, and whatever happened in the past was inconsequential.
She opened the folder Signum had left her. And stopped.
Attached to the first paper was a little pink post-it note and a note written with a very distinct style. Fate knew who it was from despite not having a name.
Fate- I have your ribbon. If you don’t want it back, I’ll keep it as a momento. Tie my hair with it maybe. Otherwise, you know where to find me.
Just then, Bardiche announced, “Sir, call incoming from Raising Heart. Connect?”
When Fate didn’t answer immediately, still staring at the note as if it would come to life as a hologram or something, Bardiche prompted, “Sir?”
Then, on the spur of the moment, Fate noisily stood up and grabbed her jacket off the back of her chair. As she threw it on she muttered under her breath, “Tell her I’m in a conference.”
Knight of L-sama
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