Negima FanFiction Discussion
View Single Post
Join Date: Dec 2009
Once again after way too long, I have a new chapter.
Out of the many problems Setsuna had considered when agreeing to be Tsukuyomi’s guard, lack of sleep wasn’t one she’d been too concerned with. She had predicted at least a few sleepless nights while she got used to the concept of sleeping in the same room as someone who wanted her dead. Tsukuyomi was not, under any definition, “safe” and not a seal in either world could change that. Setsuna had been fully prepared for being on her guard every second they were together. If that meant sacrificing sleep, she would deal with it.
The number of hours Tsukuyomi was costing her made it hard to believe how easily she’d written off the problem in the beginning.
Setsuna stared up at the ceiling.
To be fair to Tsukuyomi, it wasn’t entirely her fault this time. There was something moving outside, well within the school’s barrier. It was small, and someone would deal with it soon enough, but for the moment Setsuna was left sensing its every movement and being unable to do anything about it.
She still wouldn’t be up in the first place if not for Tsukuyomi.
Setsuna took a deep, measured breath and let it out slowly. It didn’t help much.
Today was the day.
Depending on how everything went, the fragile stability they’d managed to put together could very easily slip away after this. Setsuna wasn’t in any rush to admit that there was more than just a chance that Negi was right about them being friends, but—things had improved. They were getting along better than Setsuna had ever considered possible.
As if on cue, Tsukuyomi’s hands tightened around her waist. Her hair tickled Setsuna’s neck, making the half-demon really, really want to go outside and deal with the stray intruder. Technically not supposed to do that, Setsuna settled for arranging Tsukuyomi’s hair so it was entirely on their (currently) shared pillow.
It looked like Tsukuyomi’s hair was almost back to its old length. The singe marks Setsuna remembered seeing before their fight were completely gone, and her bangs partly covered her eyes. She’d need a haircut soon. Something else to think about.
Setsuna watched her sleep absently. These days, Tsukuyomi always rested better than her.
Everything had changed so much.
Setsuna didn’t know if their newer, peaceful relationship would survive Tsukuyomi getting a taste of freedom. It could very easily go back to the way it was before. They could be killing each other within the week. Setsuna could already see Evangeline laughing at her for handing over Tsukuyomi’s killing spree on a silver platter.
That would only happen if she couldn’t contain Tsukuyomi though. Maybe nothing could keep them in a stable relationship for long, but she would at least keep Tsukuyomi’s body count at zero.
Setsuna gave up on controlling her breathing and sighed softly. She needed to stop thinking about everything. She had to be well-rested if she wanted this to work. And really, she thought, frowning down at Tsukuyomi, she did want that.
Then she realized that her hand had somehow never left Tsukuyomi’s hair.
with Tsukuyomi’s hair.
Setsuna quickly made herself stop, dutifully ignoring the faint tingling in her cheeks and rolling over so that her hands and eyes were as far away from Tsukuyomi as possible. What was
Sleep. She needed sleep.
Setsuna shut her eyes and tried very hard to ignore the body occupying her personal space.
After an hour of being awake, Tsukuyomi started to seriously consider the possibility that she was still asleep. She didn’t usually have dreams, but she’d heard they could be very strange. Setsuna’s certainly were, if her thrashing around all last week was anything to go by.
And this was strange.
It wasn’t that she was unused to Setsuna waking up and not saying a single word to her all morning. She didn’t like it, but that on its own wasn’t really strange. Especially since Tsukuyomi’s failed attempt to find out what was bothering her Senpai so much had made Setsuna go back to saying as little as possible to her.
Tsukuyomi had let that go until now because she found it hard to be bothered by much of anything when Setsuna still couldn’t look at her without blushing. Her Senpai was incredibly cute with any kind of red on her face. Pretty too. Tsukuyomi could be noble and sacrifice good conversation for that.
But now Setsuna was pacing around their room looking worried about something, and every few seconds she would stop to take out one of her pactio cards and place it against her forehead—before shaking her head and resuming her march about the room.
She looked nervous.
Besides being strange, it was enough to make Tsukuyomi feel a little jealous.
More than a little. She didn’t have to see the card to know that it was Konoka’s.
There was no good thing Setsuna could be thinking about telling her partner when she was that nervous.
Tsukuyomi was very, very jealous, and a savage desire to have her powers back
was taking over, as well as some delightful fantasies about which limb of Konoka’s she’d be cutting off first. She’d probably start small; fingers maybe. That way she could take her time and bask in the glory of the girl’s screams and blood for as long as she wished.
“We’re going to see the headmaster today.”
Tsukuyomi reluctantly pulled herself out of her daydream to look inquisitively at Setsuna. “Didn’t you do that yesterday? And why would I be going? I’ve been behaving.” As far as anyone else in any position of authority was aware.
The princess wouldn’t complain about a few silly little arguments, would she?
Setsuna was still staring at her card. “Yes,” she said quietly, “you have been.”
“Am I being released?” Tsukuyomi asked hopefully. That would simplify things greatly. She could go through with her escape plan without even having to escape. Then after she sated her immediate thirst with some demons, she could come back to Setsuna without her Senpai being mad at her for breaking any rules. That would work perfectly—
—but of course. It was a shame, but Setsuna was far too untrusting to give her the benefit of the doubt.
“Then why do I need to go with you?”
Setsuna looked up from the card that Tsukuyomi was starting to have mildly impure thoughts about. Her Senpai wasn’t staring directly at her, since her new lack of control over her blood flow meant she tried not to do that anymore, but her eyes were carefully examining the floor above Tsukuyomi’s shoulder. “Your seal is changing.”
Tsukuyomi stared blankly up at her roommate for a full second, a complete lack of comprehension stilling any intelligent thought.
That—no, Setsuna would never allow that.
She didn’t trust her. The idea that she would ever be willing to alter Tsukuyomi’s seal in any way was nothing but an errant fantasy. Nice, but not at all realistic. Setsuna was too paranoid—too
None of that knowledge could keep adrenaline pulsing readily through Tsukuyomi’s bloodstream. “Is it now?”
“It’s a less restrictive seal,” Setsuna muttered, her eyes going back to the card. “It will let your ki run freely throughout your body again, but you won’t be able to use it for anything.”
She did not sound very happy about that. Not very happy at all.
But her moodiness was hardly the point. Beneath all the nervousness and frustration and worry, there was something that looked very much like concern—something that had nothing to do with the card in her hand.
“I don’t hate you.”
A faint fluttering in Tsukuyomi’s chest agreed with that interpretation. Wanting and glee burst into life in what she could only identify as her heart. She grinned and hopped to her feet, drawing her Senpai’s eyes back to where they belonged.
“Senpai…” she chirped, slinking over to Setsuna (so much more than adrenaline driving her now), “have I been behaving myself that well in your eyes?”
Setsuna took a jerky step backwards. “That’s not—exactly it.”
It was tempting—
tempting—to simply walk over and wrap her hands around Setsuna’s neck so her Senpai didn’t have the option of looking away from her—but Tsukuyomi had just enough sense left to know that a move like that might just make Setsuna change her mind.
And Setsuna already looked like she was regretting her decision.
Still… it was a decision that was already made, wasn’t it? Her Senpai might be annoyed, but it would hardly cause any extra inconvenience for her if she just took a small—
“There are some concerns about how the Seal may be affecting you,” Setsuna said stiffly.
—But Senpai never could stand letting her have her fun.
“What might have brought those on?” Tsukuyomi asked carefully. She suddenly found it a little easier to resist brushing against Setsuna. She couldn’t think of any particular way the Seal could be affecting her that anyone guarding her would care about, but that didn’t mean there wasn’t one.
For reasons beyond her basic pleasures, Tsukuyomi was very glad she was a swordswoman and not a mage sometimes. It made things so much simpler. Her objective was to make someone bleed—copiously—and die, and very little complications factored into that task. Magic had any number of unintended consequences.
“Just—some things have changed since your arrival.”
And as far as Tsukuyomi could remember, none of the changes had anything to do with magic.
…Her Senpai wasn’t really naïve enough to think that their newly established lack of hatred for each other was an effect of the Seal, was she?
Tsukuyomi looked far less willing to accept that answer than Setsuna had hoped, but at least she was keeping her distance now. And looking very exasperated. Setsuna chose to ignore that and went back to avoiding looking directly at her pactio card.
She had decided in the middle of her long, sleepless night that having Tsukuyomi and Asuna in the same room right after a major power shift was a bad idea. She had yet to work up the nerve to explain things to her partner.
She still didn’t know how to justify her sudden decision adequately without explaining
Setsuna gnawed on her lip. She could admit—just to herself, and it was something that she had no desire to ever share with Konoka—that due to certain recent—occurrences with Tsukuyomi, she was more eager than usual to keep her situation with the blonde completely separate from her relationship with her partner.
And she hated disappointing Konoka.
A few years ago, this would have been easy. She wouldn’t have even had a reason to tell Konoka her plans for the day. Now, though…
“You know, Senpai… with all this skirting around the issue, I’m starting to wonder if you’re planning my execution instead of my release.”
“You aren’t being released,” Setsuna said sharply, almost grateful for the distraction. “Your seal’s changing, but that’s
“Because of changed circumstances you aren’t going to tell me about.”
Setsuna flushed and scowled at Tsukuyomi. “You could just wait until the new seal’s in place and figure out what’s changed yourself.”
“And if I like these… changes?”
Setsuna’s card almost slipped through her fingers as she fumbled it.
There was little doubt in her mind that Tsukuyomi being constantly cold was bad. Dangerous even. Having the girl latched onto her side almost every waking moment was also bad.
Tsukuyomi would probably agree with the first point, but she would not appreciate losing her excuse to be clingy, and as uncomfortable as this day could be to begin with, listening to her express her desire to continue clinging to Setsuna—
Setsuna was not going to put herself through that. It could (and would probably have to) be addressed later, but for now she could get away with putting it off.
Unlike talking to Konoka.
“I did mean it, Senpai.”
“I like you,” Tsukuyomi said simply, oblivious to the discomfiting jolt that went through Setsuna’s chest at hearing those words again. “I always have. The Seal didn’t influence that, so if you’re entertaining any silly thoughts about that, please stop.”
Setsuna stared at the girl, entirely unable to drag her eyes away. Another one of those strange—occurrences that kept happening around Tsukuyomi. Something was very, very wrong with her.
“Oh, but I suppose then you don’t have a reason to change the seals—why don’t you just forget I said anything until after we’ve switched things?”
“It has nothing to do with that,” Setsuna blurted out. “The Seal doesn’t affect emotions in any way, and even if it did, those—I-I know your feelings are—genuine.”
She could feel her cheeks burning and she couldn’t look at Tsukuyomi anymore. It became easy to look down at the card in her hand and consider opening her mind up to communicating with Konoka. Anything was easier than actually thinking about what she just said.
Tsukuyomi laughed. “There’s no need to be so embarrassed about that, Setsuna-senpai. That’s just common sense, isn’t it?”
Setsuna turned around, closed her eyes, and pressed her pactio card to her head, determinedly ignoring her roommate and diving straight into the easier conflict before her real common sense could kick in and stop her.
“Kono-chan? Are you awake?”
A few very silent seconds passed before Konoka responded brightly.
“Good morning Set-chan! Do you need something?”
Setsuna felt her insides squirm uncomfortably.
“Not exactly. I just wanted to let you know that Tsukuyomi and I won’t be able to make it today.”
“I’m so sorry Kono-chan,”
Setsuna thought hurriedly.
“It’s just that something a little—unusual is going on with Tsukuyomi’s imprisonment, and not all of the preparations were in order yesterday.”
“No, don’t worry Set-chan. It’s okay. If it has to do with your assignment there’s not much you can do.”
Maybe if they’d been talking face to face Konoka would have been able to mask her sadness better, but the emotion came through easily over their mental bond. Setsuna winced. She wasn’t handling any of this well at all, was she?
“I really am sorry,”
she thought back miserably.
“This is just something better dealt with sooner than later. We’ll definitely make it next week though—and I don’t have to spend as much time training when we’re in Evangeline-san’s resort, so if—if—”
Konoka’s warm laughter entered Setsuna’s mind.
“Don’t worry about it Set-chan. It’s fine. Just make sure to make it next week, okay?”
“Good! I’ll see you tomorrow then.”
Setsuna pulled the card from her head with a sigh. If anything like this ever had to happen again, she’d just drag Tsukuyomi out of bed the second preparations were completed. At least then she wouldn’t risk hurting Konoka’s feelings.
“What was so important that you couldn’t wait until lunch to tell your Ojou-sama?”
Setsuna opened her eyes and turned to glare at Tsukuyomi, who was having her own staring match with the pactio card lying lifeless in Setsuna’s hand. Her own hand was twitching a little; her fingers almost looked like they were reaching to caress some invisible—
“I was just informing her that because of our appointment with the headmaster, we won’t be making it to lunch today.”
“Is that right?”
Tsukuyomi’s eyes gleamed.
Setsuna looked away and stuffed her card in her shirt pocket and ignored the memory of Tsukuyomi’s hands twisting the exact same way with a sword in hand. Walking stiffly, she made her way over to the door and her shoes, making sure Yūnagi was ready to draw if necessary.
“We should leave now if we don’t want to be late,” she muttered.
“Yes, I suppose giving certain people time to change their minds would be a bad idea.”
Setsuna knew without asking that Tsukuyomi was grouping her in that category. She didn’t bother making the correction, choosing to focus instead on the much more productive task of putting on her shoes. Tsukuyomi walked over and leaned against the door, tapping her fingers against it impatiently.
Or maybe she was just happy, Setsuna realized. Memories of her sword style still lingered despite Setsuna’s best effort, and while the movements weren’t similar, she could remember how enthusiastically Tsukuyomi had waved her blades around moments before their first duel of the Magical World. Few—none of Tsukuyomi’s emotions were quiet. If she felt something, she expressed it.
And—Setsuna snuck a quick look at her roommate’s face—right now, she was definitely feeling happiness.
For some reason, that simple knowledge was almost enough to make Setsuna return the smile—
—and if the door hadn’t opened at that exact second, coming very close to knocking Tsukuyomi over, she might have. Tsukuyomi tripped forward, and Setsuna jumped to her feet to steady her before she inadvertently trapped them both in a heap on the floor. Her spare hand already had Yūnagi halfway drawn.
Then Setsuna’s eyes caught up with the rest of her body and she relaxed. She stood up straight, sheathed her blade, and nodded to their mostly-absent roommate.
Mana eyed the positioning of Setsuna’s hand on Tsukuyomi’s shoulder before smiling sharply. “Setsuna. …Tsukuyomi.”
“Good morning, Onee-san!” Tsukuyomi chirped back. “Are you here to escort us?”
Mana chuckled and pushed her way past them to drop the duffel she was carrying on what was supposed to be Tsukuyomi’s bed. She was moving more stiffly than she usually did, and Setsuna thought she could see the beginnings of a bruise on her shoulder. “I would have thought you’d be more than happy with Setsuna as your only guard.”
Setsuna cut Tsukuyomi off before she could say something to that, making the girl pout. “Are you going to be spending the next few nights here?”
“That’s right,” Mana said. “There have been some intrusions near the dorms lately, and the headmaster thought it best if I wasn’t as far as the shrine the next time something shows up.”
Setsuna frowned. “Should I—”
“Don’t worry about it. You’re hardly the sole competent guard this school has, and the headmaster pays well. And you already have your hands full with our roommate. There’s no reason to burden yourself further.” She paused briefly before continuing with a slight smirk. “Besides, between the two of them, Tsukuyomi’s probably the greater threat.”
“Thank you, Onee-san,” Tsukuyomi said sweetly.
Setsuna stayed still for a few moments, eying the bruise on Mana’s shoulder, before nodding reluctantly and kneeling to finish tying her shoes. She and Tsukuyomi had an appointment to keep. That was the only responsibility she should worry about.
It was hard to ignore her older loyalty to the headmaster and the school though, and all the way to the headmaster’s office, she had to fight to keep her thoughts from wandering.
Tsukuyomi sat comfortably at the center of the magical array the headmaster had marked out on his office floor.
Well. She was as close to comfortable as she was likely to get considering how much of her restraint she had already used up trying not to antagonize her Senpai. She did not feel like sitting. She felt even less like being patient.
She would make herself wait though. She was patient with Fate-han’s complicated plans while she was under his employ, and she was of course patient now with the princess, and really, this wasn’t at all different.
…Only it was. It was so very, very different. Even if she couldn’t use it for anything, the chance to feel her power buzzing under her skin again was something she wanted with a vicious glee that was usually reserved for Setsuna, and the want was increasing by the second.
Making being patient unreasonably difficult.
She wished Setsuna were closer. Setsuna had always been good at distracting her. But no, her Senpai was completely engrossed in whatever quiet conversation she was having with the headmaster.
Tsukuyomi sighed as loudly as she dared. This would all be so much simpler if she had something to kill nearby. She’d even take the puppets at the moment. Anything.
Maybe Konoka would decide to come visit her grandfather. That would be nice. Except for what would happen after she murdered the girl.
Tsukuyomi glanced at Setsuna, allowing herself a brief moment of regret. Without a pressing need to escape, she would have to ignore her less developed murder plans for the sweet Konoe heir.
“Tsukuyomi-kun, are you ready to begin?”
Tsukuyomi abruptly sat up straight and attempted to wipe her thoughts clean from her face. She smiled cheerfully at the headmaster. “Yes.” Beyond ready. Shouldn’t a man of his age know better than to keep a lady waiting?
The headmaster nodded slowly and situated himself so that he was standing at what Tsukuyomi assumed was the top of the array. Behind him, Setsuna stayed as still as a statue next to his desk. “Very well then.”
He fixed Tsukuyomi with a look that reminded her a little of Dynamis. “This is unlikely to be a pleasant experience for you. The Ouroboros Seal is not easily removed—extra care must be taken to insure that the sudden influx of energy throughout your body doesn’t tear it apart.” He paused. “I would suggest that you stay as still and quiet as possible so you do not break my concentration.”
Tsukuyomi nodded dutifully, but underneath her ever-growing excitement, she could feel a sliver of disappointment. It was galling to be told, however indirectly, that her grand escape plan wouldn’t have worked.
And to think the
could have been granted the honor of killing her.
She’d need to find a way to thank Setsuna for sparing her that fate.
For saving her life.
How strange, to think of it that way, when for so long—
It made Tsukuyomi want to laugh.
When was the last time she’d been in pain?
pain, not soppy, wholly inferior emotional discomfort?
She couldn’t remember. Her last fight with Setsuna maybe.
It truly had been far too long.
And even then, pain like this was a completely different force than the kind that showed up so commonly in swordfights. The slicing and tearing and blood that was so satisfying to her had no place here.
This was entirely internal. There wouldn’t be a mark on her if she looked down, despite the ripping sensation diving through her insides, and while that sort of damage was no fun to inflict…
This, she recalled, with a brief burst of clarity, was why mages could be so fun. Why people like Fate-han could excite her just as easily as another swordsman. Because magic, with all of its complications and unintended consequences, could do things like this.
. She felt almost drunk on it. The sensation of such strong magic around her—
A searing, blistering heat erupted in her abdomen, fiercer than the heat of anything outside her Senpai’s blood.
And then she thought she did laugh, heedless of the headmaster’s warning.
How had she gone so long without feeling this?
Blinking bright spots from her eyes, Setsuna just managed to make it to Tsukuyomi’s side before the girl collapsed as the spell—spells really—ended. Her charge was apparently delirious, giggling softly and holding a hand to her eyes.
Setsuna wasn’t sure what to make of that. She doubted it was a normal side effect of either the release of the Ouroboros Seal or the placement of the new one.
Most likely, she thought, it was just Tsukuyomi being Tsukuyomi. Her smile right now certainly wasn’t unfamiliar.
“You are sure about this Setsuna-kun?”
Setsuna nodded at the headmaster’s soft question. He had asked it multiple times now, but he probably thought, thanks to Tsukuyomi’s reaction to the magic, it warranted repeating. “Yes sir.” She hesitated for a moment, unsure if she really wanted to say the words in her mind. Then she relented. Even if things ended badly, the headmaster hadn’t had to help. “Thank you.”
She heard him chuckle. “I doubt even young Negi-kun will ever have the opportunity to use the spell to undo the Ouroboros Seal. Whatever my doubts about your current charge, it was thrilling to find an excuse to use magic that complex.”
Setsuna could understand that. A little. When she was younger, she felt the same way every time she needed to use a Shinmeiryuu technique in a fight. She sighed and picked Tsukuyomi up off the floor. “We’ll be leaving now sir. Thank you for your time.”
Tsukuyomi had finally managed to stop giggling when they reached their room. She was still by no means calm—oh certainly not—but she could feel a little bit of control returning to her.
She wasn’t sure she welcomed the return. She already missed the extra edge of intensity that came from being overwhelmed with magic; the complete freedom of emotion that she only ever felt in battle.
how she missed it.
But things were hardly bad. She wasn’t touching Setsuna at the moment, but she wasn’t cold. And she really could feel her power again. She couldn’t use it—she’d tried briefly when Setsuna was opening the door to their room—but she could
She wasn’t sure how long that would be enough (she already wanted so much more), but for now, it was. Such an improvement…
Had Setsuna known this would happen?
The cold at least. Tsukuyomi was almost positive that Setsuna had known about that. Her earlier words were making a lot more sense now.
She looked over at Setsuna, who was standing awkwardly in the middle of the room.
She almost started laughing all over again.
That look was back in Tsukuyomi’s eyes.
“I like you.”
Any thoughts Setsuna had of looking around the room for a distraction stopped cold.
She was really, really starting to hate that look. Before it had just been embarrassing, but now it was starting to make her feel strange in a way that she really didn’t think was healthy.
Setsuna jumped. “Ah—yes?”
Tsukuyomi took a few steps closer to her, smiling freely in a way that at least confirmed that Setsuna had been right to recommend changing the seals and why was she thinking of that right now instead of backing away from Tsukuyomi?
Tsukuyomi seemed completely content with just watching her with that look. Several seconds passed without her saying a word. Setsuna wanted to break the silence herself, but what could she possibly say?
“You really don’t hate me, do you Senpai?”
Setsuna tensed defensively. “I said I didn’t.”
Tsukuyomi’s smile widened and she took another step forward. Her eyes were almost glowing now.
“So you did.”
The whispered words brushed against the side of Setsuna’s face, and that’s when she really started to panic. She hadn’t realized that she’d turned her head away from Tsukuyomi, but she jerked her gaze back now, understanding far too much of the expression in the blonde’s eyes.
Tsukuyomi liking her was one thing. And yes, even though she liked her as more than a friend it wasn’t completely terrifying, because—
Because lust was not love, and it couldn’t be or else—
Tsukuyomi’s lips brushed against hers.
—something like this might happen.
Not counting the cases where blood had been involved, Tsukuyomi had never kissed anyone. Not on the lips, and certainly not with any romantic intent.
Not like this.
Setsuna was completely frozen, but Tsukuyomi couldn’t mind, because her Senpai’s lips were soft, and she wasn’t pulling away. If Tsukuyomi had been expecting anything from this—if she’d kissed Setsuna for any reason besides suddenly wanting it more than anything—it wouldn’t have been Setsuna’s compliance in any form.
This, she knew, somehow, despite all logic, transcended the feeling that the headmaster’s magic had burned into her.
Without giving it any conscious thought, she deepened the kiss.
Part of Setsuna kept expecting to feel magic flooding her veins—kept expecting to hear Chamo’s voice shouting, “Pactio!” That was how these situations were supposed to go. It involved kissing, yes, but then the magic flowed over the participants and—and—why wasn’t it happening?
The rest of Setsuna was thoroughly occupied with trying to make sense of what was happening. She was not only failing miserably, she was also highly conscious of the way Tsukuyomi’s lips were moving against hers, and she felt like her senses were in overdrive despite most of her body feeling entirely numb.
In the back of her mind, she dimly registered the sound of the door creaking open, but she didn’t think she even remembered how to move.
The sound of Mana’s voice, however, was more than enough to remind her.
Tsukuyomi stared up at the bottom of the top bunk, trying to keep her giggling contained.
Sure, their roommate’s interruption was hardly welcome, and having Setsuna return to giving her the silent treatment for the rest of the day and say that there was no need for them to sleep together anymore now that her heat issues were resolved was unpleasant (though she thought she could change Setsuna's mind about that), but… it had been such a good day.
She put a hand to her lips.
Then she gave up on keeping her laughter quiet.
Setsuna—just for a second, but it still counted—kissed back.
This. Chapter. Argh. This was just plain exhausting. Romance is hard enough to begin with, but... argh.
Anyway... updates will be coming pretty slowly until summer I think. School and various health issues are causing problems. So... my most sincere apologies on that.
View Public Profile
Send a private message to Merctrin
Visit Merctrin's homepage!
Find More Posts by Merctrin