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Join Date: Dec 2009
...I think I'll leave the backlog for another day.
For now, here's a new chapter of Taken Day by Day.
Tsukuyomi had never realized how desirable being stuck in their room all weekend was before the Konoe girl started requesting their presence for pointlessly social events like lunch. Setsuna and her much more annoying partner had been acting strangely around each other all week, but this was by far the worst consequence of the strangeness.
Twitchy, cold, and roused from Setsuna’s nest much sooner than she would have liked, she gazed imploringly up at her Senpai.
“Do we have to go again? We just went last week.”
Setsuna at least looked like she had some idea of how opposed to the idea Tsukuyomi was—and possibly felt the slightest bit of guilt over forcing her into it—but that clearly wasn’t enough to change her mind about leaving. “Yes, we have to. I promised Kono-chan we’d come by every week—”
Tsukuyomi’s ears caught the change in title, but she focused determinedly on the more pressing issue. “This is going to happen every
She was pretty sure she was supposed to accept Setsuna’s stony silence as a yes.
Sulking a little, Tsukuyomi wandered over to the door and obediently began putting on her shoes. Slowly. Behind her, she could hear Setsuna sigh quietly. Tsukuyomi smiled a little at the noise she probably wasn’t supposed to hear. She was about to ask if she was really causing her Senpai all that much trouble when—
It was such a small thing.
Insignificant compared to the touches they’d shared recently.
Setsuna’s bare hand brushed against hers for less than a fraction of a second.
Tsukuyomi barely registered what was actually happening. All she knew was that suddenly, she felt as if her entire body was on fire. It was a feeling she had almost forgotten with Setsuna’s gentle, constant warmth, but she quickly fell back into it, her focus narrowing and feeling nothing but the blistering heat threatening to consume her whole.
The force of it had her gasping for air, and Tsukuyomi could just barely feel her hands dropping to her sides, searching for some weapon.
She wanted blood.
Setsuna was so close.
Tsukuyomi closed her eyes and let the burning heat spiral into ecstasy as she imagined—remembered—what that blood felt like against her skin. Against her lips.
So warm. So tasty. What a delight it would be to taste every last drop, licking her dry until she has nothing left—
Dim warning bells were going off in her head, but they seemed so quiet—so trivial next to the blaze running rampant across her very soul. What could it possibly hurt to entertain this pleasure even if it could just be for a moment longer?
her. To tear into her pure flesh, listening to her screams as her blood drips from her every pore.
her. To brush against her skin and
To feel her tremble beneath me as I take her completely—to hear her final heartbeat—to kill—
The thought hammered its way into Tsukuyomi’s head, making her knees go weak as some faint sense of clarity returned to her mind. Terror, sharp and cold, spiked its way through her veins.
Not Setsuna. Not—
All thoughts came to a screeching halt when Setsuna’s hand gripped her shoulder.
A lazy, content warmth immediately overrode the burning and the cold, and Tsukuyomi felt herself leaning into her Senpai, desiring nothing more than to envelop herself in the sensation. Setsuna tensed in response to the movement, but slowly, almost painfully so, she brought up her other arm around Tsukuyomi. It wasn’t quite a hug—Setsuna was still far too stiff for it to count—but it was close.
Tsukuyomi pressed herself firmly against Setsuna’s warmth, listening to their heartbeats. Setsuna’s was strong and steady, but her own was skipping wildly. She couldn’t quite feel the fear it was responding to when her Senpai was holding her so close, but she could imagine it.
She tightened her grip on Setsuna.
“Are you alright?”
“Yes,” Tsukuyomi answered honestly. She was almost perfectly alright now. “But I’d prefer it if you didn’t do that again. When you don’t touch me properly, it makes me want to kill you.”
Or rape you, but that’s not really a problem.
Setsuna didn’t say anything for a few seconds after that, but she didn’t leave either.
“Is it getting worse?” she asked at last.
Now there was annoying question.
Tsukuyomi had done a very good job of ignoring how dependent she was growing on Setsuna’s touch. If pushed, she would admit that lately knowing how spectacularly Setsuna was failing to keep her word that they wouldn’t sleep together every night was the only thing keeping her from actively searching for something to cut herself with.
Her beloved Senpai was usually very good about not pushing, but if she actually bothered to pursue this particular line of questioning, they could end up having a very, very awkward conversation.
Tsukuyomi wanted to put that off for as long as possible.
“It’s fine when you hold me like this,” she replied easily.
Setsuna pulled away just enough to meet her eyes. Tsukuyomi stared back, wondering at the intense focus and worry that had taken over her Senpai’s expression. She waited for the inevitable question about her evasive wording patiently. She could never tire of being the sole object of Setsuna’s attention, even if it was over something as unpleasant as this.
Then, surprisingly, Setsuna ripped her gaze away to stare at the floor. “Is it okay for you to be around other people right now?”
Tsukuyomi really should have taken that instant to talk her way out of spending lunch with Konoka and her merry roommates. The excuse was practically being handed to her, and she couldn’t think of any reason why she would want to avoid using it.
At least, she couldn’t until Setsuna stepped away.
Cold, unrelenting and freezing, took over her body, leaving her feeling worse than she had when she caught herself fantasizing about killing Setsuna. It was by far the most abrupt shift in temperature she’d dealt with all week, and she had to grasp Setsuna’s hand just to keep herself from shivering.
Tsukuyomi nearly sighed in relief when the cold eased away again.
Then she realized what that meant.
She knew her tolerance had gone down quite a bit since the start of her imprisonment, probably thanks to the lack of interesting things to do. But for it to have gotten this bad…
It really was getting worse. Before coming to Mahora, she could have lasted—unhappily—for months without spilling blood if she had to. At this point, she could find enough victims to make it rain blood and it still wouldn’t sate her need.
That was it then.
It was time to stop merely playing with the princess.
Setsuna told herself she wasn’t worried.
She’d stopped believing that the third time she had to ask Konoka to repeat herself because she was too busy staring at Tsukuyomi to pay attention to much else. She almost wished that Tsukuyomi had convinced her to stay in their room at that point. At least then she wouldn’t feel like she was neglecting Konoka. Things had been awkward between them since—since the—incident in the classroom, and she didn’t want to make anything worse.
Drawing her attention back to her partner once again, Setsuna sipped her rapidly cooling tea and tried to remember what they were supposed to be talking about. She thought it might have something to do with a new recipe Konoka wanted to try, but she wasn’t sure.
Unconsciously, her gaze drifted back to Tsukuyomi.
She couldn’t help being distracted. Whatever was wrong with the girl, it was clearly getting worse. The desperate grip Tsukuyomi had on her hand confirmed that much. Setsuna had managed to detach her long enough to hide the connection from Konoka, but the second they sat down at the table, Tsukuyomi’s hand snapped back into hers.
The same thing had happened in their room earlier.
It was, no matter how badly Setsuna wanted to say otherwise, very worrying. Tsukuyomi was even shivering during the day now. If things got any worse…
Setsuna didn’t want to think about that.
Before she did anything drastic, she at least needed to talk someone who could confirm or deny her growing suspicions. Preferably someone not Evangeline. The vampire had taken to taunting her about her relationship with Tsukuyomi with great enthusiasm lately, and Setsuna didn’t want to give Evangeline any encouragement.
“And then Negi-kun and I got married—”
Setsuna choked on her tea and jerked her head back around to gape at Konoka.
Konoka smiled benignly. Next to her, Asuna was thumping Negi’s back as the boy coughed tea from his lungs. “Konoka-san, that never happened!” he cried out, eyes wide and innocent.
Setsuna was slightly gratified to note that she wasn’t the only one Konoka’s words had shocked, but considering the pointed look her partner was giving her at the moment, she was more embarrassed than anything.
“Um, sorry Kono-chan.”
The soft smile that was suddenly directed at her made Setsuna’s heart skip a beat. She looked down, a familiar flush burning its way to her cheeks. Under the table, Tsukuyomi’s hand tightened around hers.
“Four-eyes isn’t keeping you up late, is she?” Asuna asked suspiciously. “It isn’t like you to be this distracted, Setsuna-san.”
Setsuna opened her mouth for a quick denial when Tsukuyomi neatly interjected, slipping herself into Setsuna’s lap and smiling sweetly at Asuna. “And if I was keeping her up, how would that be any concern of yours, Princess?”
Setsuna face was burning so badly that she was quite sure her head was going to explode. She opened and shut her mouth, trying to find the words to dispute what Tsukuyomi was suggesting, before giving up and shoving Tsukuyomi off of her with a glare. Tsukuyomi pouted, but she quickly turned her attention back to Asuna. A small flick of her wrist kept their hands connected.
“It’s my concern because I don’t like my friends having to hang out with raging psychopaths,” Asuna snapped, balling her fists above the table.
“Now, now, is that really proper manners for a princess?”
Asuna rose from the table, looking as if she wanted nothing more than to hit Tsukuyomi. “You’re lucky you’re powerless right now. If you weren’t…” She left the threat hanging.
Strangely, Tsukuyomi didn’t laugh the comment off like she normally would. A sharp brightness that Setsuna usually associated with bloodlust flashed in Tsukuyomi’s eyes, and the girl started to get up, stopped only by Setsuna forcing her back to her seat.
Tsukuyomi kept her gaze locked on Asuna, whom Negi was attempting to convince to sit back down. She was smiling happily, but there was an edge to the look Setsuna didn’t immediately recognize. It was entirely too familiar and made her blood run cold, but—
Then it came to her. It was the same expression Tsukuyomi wore when she went after Konoka in the middle of their fight to—encourage her.
Before Setsuna could fully grasp and panic over the implications of that, Konoka was up and gathering their plates, smiling as if nothing had happened. “You are still sleeping well, aren’t you Set-chan?”
Relieved to have something besides Tsukuyomi to think about, Setsuna nodded and smiled up at her partner. “Yes.”
“We both are,” Tsukuyomi chimed in.
Setsuna sighed as Asuna’s eye visibly twitched. Maybe listening to Tsukuyomi when she said she was perfectly fine with being around people was a bad idea.
No, Setsuna corrected herself, looking over at Tsukuyomi once again; it was a bad idea to believe her when she said she was fine at all. And instead of worrying over things like how painfully awkward spending time with Konoka had been lately, she should have pushed and asked if—
Setsuna disentangled her hand from Tsukuyomi’s and stood up, doing her best to ignore the startled and annoyed reaction the movement sparked. She focused on Konoka and joining her in gathering up the dishes. “I’ll help you with that, Ojou-sama.”
“Thank you, Set-chan,” Konoka said brightly, moving quickly away from the table and over to the kitchen.
Setsuna followed a little more closely than was proper, but Konoka didn’t seem to mind. She just turned around and waited patiently for Setsuna to sort out the thoughts that were probably embarrassingly obvious to someone who knew her as well as her partner.
That was made much harder when she realized that they had managed to avoid being this close to each other all week. The—incident in the classroom (not that anything had happened or anything would have happened without an interruption) had left them alternating between avoiding each other’s eyes and being overly friendly, and even when they chose the latter, they still stayed more physically distant than usual.
Setsuna realized abruptly that she’d been staring, and she looked back at their friends and Tsukuyomi with a blush staining her cheeks. “Sorry,” she murmured.
Konoka giggled. “You really are distracted today. Did something happen?”
Setsuna sighed. “Not—exactly. I mean, yes, something did happen, it’s just…”
It was just
She looked back at her partner. Maybe Konoka wasn’t the best person to ask, but at this point, she couldn’t just pretend that her suspicions were wrong or would go away. She had to at least try, and asking someone she trusted implicitly was a good start.
“Ojou-sama, do you know anyone besides Evangeline-san who might know what the side effects of the Ouroboros Seal are?” she asked quietly.
Tsukuyomi could tell that the princess and Negi hadn’t been in this room much. Or ever, maybe. Despite Asuna entering before her, there was a slight hesitation in her step as she walked in, and Negi’s curiosity as he looked around was open enough.
At another time, she might have cared about details like that.
Currently, she was more distracted by the uncomfortable chill and shivers that she couldn’t quite contain. It was really no fair that Setsuna had to rip away so quickly—the cold always crept on faster when she did that.
And it didn’t need any help.
Making Setsuna’s sudden need to go off somewhere to do something important all the more annoying.
Tsukuyomi sighed and sat down on Setsuna’s nest, imagining that she could still feel some of the earlier warmth. She knew now was the wrong time to complain about extra time with the princess, but what could her Senpai possibly have to do? She’d already had her meeting with the headmaster yesterday, and that was the only thing besides Konoka’s annoying lunches that interfered with their weekends together.
And if all goes well, there won’t be many more of those.
No, not now. That can be worried about later.
It was enough that she knew she couldn’t put off her escape any longer. She didn’t want to think about the emotional consequences just yet, and Setsuna’s absence was doing nothing but drawing those to the front of her thoughts. It was frustrating and uncomfortable. She needed to leave, and the last thing she needed was to start wanting the impossible—to imagine what could happen if she managed to get Setsuna to be a little more lenient instead—
Thoughts like that simply weren’t productive.
And really, Tsukuyomi told herself, Setsuna’s sudden mysterious mission wasn’t only bringing up bad thoughts. It meant she got to spend time with Asuna without her Senpai’s supervision.
Who could possibly say that was anything but good?
Negi sat down across from her awkwardly, smiling as if he didn’t know if he was supposed to be nice to her or not. Asuna stayed standing and leaned against the bunk beds, scowling. Clearly, watching over had not been on the princess’ schedule.
Tsukuyomi smiled. That would certainly make this easier. More fun, too. “You could at least act like you don’t mind being here, Princess.”
Asuna’s scowl darkened, but she kept her mouth clamped shut. Negi twitched, looking up at her uncomfortably. He did always seem to worry about how his students were getting along, Tsukuyomi noted fondly. One of the many things Fate had learned about the boy during their short rivalry: he responded delightfully when the people he was responsible for were in danger.
Such a shame Fate-han hadn’t lived long enough to use that knowledge to maximize the thrill of their fights. He would’ve enjoyed that. Tsukuyomi knew she rather enjoyed taking advantage of her Senpai in that way.
Admittedly, disliking Konoka helped much with that, but there was nothing quite like the raw outrage written all over Setsuna’s entire being when someone went after her partner. Even knowing that it was only Setsuna’s—affection for the girl that caused that reaction couldn’t ruin it.
Tsukuyomi wondered if being in love with Setsuna would keep her from indulging that pleasure. Regardless, she was going to murder the Konoe girl once she escaped, and there was no question that she’d be able to see how her Senpai reacted, but—
It wouldn’t be the same, would it? Not when she couldn’t kill Setsuna.
She’d have to work on finding some way around that. But first…
“Where do you sleep?”
Tsukuyomi blinked up at the suddenly sociable princess. She was eyeing the beds suspiciously, no doubt noticing that the top bunk didn’t have bedding and the bottom one’s sheets were draped over the nest on the floor.
“On the floor with Setsuna-senpai of course.”
“And she actually agreed to that?” Asuna asked skeptically.
“Why wouldn’t she?” So very many reasons to choose from, none of which Setsuna had actually used since they’d started sleeping together. She’d certainly tried a few times, but her halfhearted attempts never led to anything. Not that they would work to begin with. Tsukuyomi wasn’t about to let go of her Senpai now that they were so close. She was already being forced into leaving sooner than she wanted.
“She hates you.”
“Asuna-san—” Negi interjected. Asuna glared at him and he fell quiet with a resigned sigh while casting Tsukuyomi a sympathetic look she didn’t understand.
Tsukuyomi had to sigh herself. “Come now, you can’t actually prove that.” Unless the princess bothered with asking Setsuna. Then it would be very easy to prove. “And that’s an awfully rude thing to say. We’ve been getting along lately, haven’t we?”
Asuna crossed her arms. “Not killing each other isn’t the same as getting along. And the only reason you’re managing that first one is because of the seal on you.”
That was a little more sensitive than Tsukuyomi wanted. It was small, but she could feel some irritation growing in her.
“I’m not going to kill Setsuna-senpai.”
“No,” Asuna snapped, “you’re just looking for an opening to molest her.”
“Oh is that what’s wrong now?” She honestly hadn’t thought the princess was paying that much attention. Maybe her desire for Setsuna was more obvious than she thought. “You think I’m going to rape her in her sleep?”
Or maybe the princess just distrusted her enough to always assume the worst. Honestly, how troublesome. Insulting, too. Setsuna was strong enough to match her without the Seal in place; with it, Tsukuyomi didn’t even have the option of doing anything without her consent. Setsuna would kill her.
It was… annoying, somehow, that Asuna didn’t realize that.
And besides that—
The fun she’d had with her Senpai in the Magical World wasn’t appealing anymore. At least, not when her head was clear. Sometimes it was tempting to play with her a little, but her time of toying with Setsuna in that way was most likely over.
It’s frustrating, and I don’t know how to go about getting it, but I want something more from Setsuna-senpai now.
She couldn’t help but smile a little at the princess, doing very little to improve the girl’s poor temper. It was nice to have a secret. Especially one that she could use to annoy Asuna so thoroughly.
As a general rule, Setsuna avoided Library Island. It was an aversion born of many hours wandering around, lost, when she was still shadowing Konoka. Despite her best efforts, the island was the one place she could never reliably follow her charge. Eventually, with the headmaster’s assurances that Konoka would be safe, she had stopped trying.
So she was lucky to find Yue on the first floor.
Setsuna would have preferred being lost for hours.
When she’d asked Konoka who might know about the Seal, she hadn’t expected her partner to come up with such a simple solution. She’d expected—
Not something she could immediately follow through on.
Before she realized it, Setsuna was standing in front of the table Yue was sitting at with Nodoka and Haruna. Yue had her artifact out and was discussing the projections with her friends, giving Setsuna a few moments of peace before she was noticed.
It didn’t feel like anywhere near enough.
Especially when Nodoka happened to glance up and her greeting attracted—other—attention.
“Setsuna-san! What are you doing here?”
“Yeah, aren’t weekends your chance to have some fun with that girlfriend of yours?”
Setsuna felt her face flush as she stuttered out a denial. After saying it at least a dozen times in the past week, she no longer thought she could convince some of her more insistent classmates to drop the idea, but she put as much force as she could behind the words anyway. “Tsukuyomi’s not my girlfriend, Haruna-san.”
Haruna smirked evilly, and Setsuna quickly cut off any further pestering by addressing her reason for coming to the island.
“Uh, I’m actually here to ask Yue-san something.”
All three of them looked surprised by that. Setsuna couldn’t blame them; she didn’t think she’d ever had a conversation with Yue, and she certainly hadn’t sought the girl out like this.
Yue raised her eyebrows and put aside the juice box she was sipping. “Oh? What is it?”
Setsuna took a deep breath and nodded down at the artifact on the table. “I was—wondering if you wouldn’t mind looking up the side effects of the Ouroboros Seal. Tsukuyomi’s—I just want to make sure there’s nothing I need to watch for.”
She wasn’t going to go into the specifics. A quiet, ashamed part of her soul didn’t want them to know what she was looking for.
Yue, thankfully, went back to her artifact with nothing more than a skeptical frown, but Nodoka looked concerned. “Has something happened?” she asked hesitantly.
Setsuna could see her knuckles tightening around Yūnagi until they went white. “Not really.”
Nodoka opened her mouth again, but Yue spoke up first.
“There don’t appear to be many side effects of the Seal itself,” she said. “Most seals are researched heavily so that any problems are dealt with before they’re used officially. There have been some reports of people dying when it’s removed too quickly, but those were mostly unofficial removals involving escaping prisoners. They were too desperate to do it properly. Ah—here’s something.”
Yue flipped the book around so that Setsuna could read it properly. “With some of the more experienced people it was used on, there were difficulties with prison conditions. Without internal use of their magic or ki, inmates were rendered incapable of warming themselves. The guards weren’t prepared to pay extra attention to that, so there were quite a few casualties.”
Setsuna concentrated on controlling her breathing.
She was right.
“Thank you, Yue-san,” she whispered.
The funny thing, Setsuna thought, walking slowly down the hall to her room, was that it didn’t change anything. The overbearing numbness in her chest wasn’t something she could do anything about. Yes, she knew why Tsukuyomi was getting worse instead of just suspecting it now.
But she didn’t trust Tsukuyomi enough to remove the Seal.
Setsuna stopped just short of her door and pressed her forehead against it, closing her eyes and tuning out the voices on the other side.
It wasn’t fair that Tsukuyomi was suffering. Honestly, Setsuna hated it more than she would have thought possible when they left the Magical World. That was what kept her sleeping with the girl curled around her every night instead of forcing her back to her own bed.
But what was the alternative?
Setsuna didn’t believe for half a second Tsukuyomi would let a lesser seal contain her for long. And after she escaped… Setsuna didn’t want to imagine what Tsukuyomi would do after being unable to kill or fight anyone for over a month. A bloodbath was practically guaranteed.
So what should she do?
The sudden spike in volume in the room told her that now was not the time to figure it out.
Sighing, she opened the door and walked in. She was less than surprised to find that Asuna was the source of the noise. Tsukuyomi was sitting on the floor, looking positively delighted about whatever names Asuna was calling her. Negi was simply staring at the ceiling uncomfortably, and he smiled in obvious relief when he noticed Setsuna.
Tsukuyomi’s attention was quickly captured too, and Setsuna found herself looking into the girl’s eyes—staring. Staring and wondering despite herself if trusting Tsukuyomi would really be such a bad thing. It took her a few moments to realize what she was doing, and she quickly tore her gaze away and smiled awkwardly over at Asuna.
“Thank you for keeping an eye on her. I can take over from here.”
Asuna threw one final glare towards the unaffected Tsukuyomi and marched towards the door. Negi followed her after a much politer farewell. After they put on their shoes, Asuna sighed and glanced despairingly at Setsuna.
“I know she charges a lot, but next time, ask Tatsumiya-san. I can probably pay if it’s just a few hours, and your psycho roommate drives me crazy.”
Setsuna winced. “Sorry about that, Asuna-san. Tatsumiya was very insistent about me not asking for her help with Tsukuyomi anymore.” It was a little puzzling, since Setsuna couldn’t remember asking Mana for help more than once, but the gunslinger had threatened to triple her normal rate.
“I can’t imagine why.” Asuna shook her head. “I’ll leave her to you then. Good luck.”
“See you tomorrow, Princess!”
Asuna stiffened, but she managed to not say anything. Considering the way her fist was twitching, it was quite the impressive feat. Setsuna moved to the side and let her friend stomp out of the room, sparing a second to shoot a reproving look at Tsukuyomi, who seemed perfectly happy ignoring it.
Setsuna started guiltily as she realized she’d almost completely forgotten about Negi. He waved off her apologies, smiling oddly at her. His eyes flicked briefly towards Tsukuyomi, and his expression brightened, making Setsuna feel very confused.
“I know that Asuna-san and Konoka-san don’t really like it, and it is a little strange, but I’m glad you and Tsukuyomi-san are friends now.”
He made a swift exit, leaving Setsuna staring blankly at the empty space he had previously occupied.
Unbidden, her eyes fell back to Tsukuyomi, accidentally falling into another staring contest with the girl. For the first time outside of battle that Setsuna could remember, she seemed genuinely shocked. Setsuna couldn't blame her.
This chapter somehow got very busy... the next one should be much calmer.
...And yes, I think that's all I'm going to babble this time.
Thanks for reading!
Last edited by Merctrin; 2010-12-21 at
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