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The Not-So-Kind One
Join Date: Jun 2008
(Takes a deep breath)
Ok, here's my first attempt at Nanoha Fan fiction. This goes back to The Shiny Sword's challenge to turn a song into a Fanfic. NanoFate.
It's All Coming Back to Me Now by Celine Dion
It's All Coming Back to Me Now
How many years had it been since I even thought about her? Three? Maybe four? She had been my first love that I had carelessly discarded because of my wounded pride. I had learned a lot from that relationship, and while I did occasionally date from time to time. I never again felt the passion that I had with her.
Gosh, it’s been over twenty years since we made that promise on the bridge. I haven’t thought about that day in so long that I can’t bring back the memory of what your expression was or even what your hair smelled like. The only thing for certain is that I know that I was able to remember at one time. I have a vague feeling that you had warm hands as you held mine and called out my name.
I could have really gone for a warm body over years especially when I was stationed over the ancient, abandoned planet, Hoth. The planet was an iceberg in the middle of a dying galaxy, but I was a recently promoted Vice Admiral for the Mid-Childa Navy, and that was the lowest wrung on the ladder of high command. Hence, it was a natural place for a young commanding officer to demonstrate her ability without causing too much damage. Yet, it seemed that no matter how many blankets I had over me at night I would still freeze. When I shivered, I would remember the warm bed that we once shared, but then I would remember you and force the sweet longing from my mind. I would listen to the howling wind right outside my window, and let sleep extract your face from my mind’s eye.
It wasn’t too long before I was promoted from the orbiting ice cube to the Special Forces base on Administered Planet #1105. It was a resort planet in the middle of a calm universe. Most officers would have given their intelligent devices and their linker cores to retire on this world, but, damn, for me it was so boring. I sat in the office most of the day finishing paperwork while the tropical sun burned the back of my neck through my large office window.
I celebrated my twenty-eighth birthday on that world. My colleagues surprised me and took me out for drinks with my brother that night. Chrono knew better than to ask about you. He and Amy were very kind about that, but the rest of the younger officers did not know. Alcohol had the magical ability of opening the most tactful of lips, and one of the ensigns made the mistake of saying your name. I listened as they slurred their latest gossip to each other.
“Did you hear that Montgomery is going to train on 97?”
“That lucky shit! How did anyone on this side of the universe get permission to train on 97?”
“I know, right? I mean, we’re lucky enough to have Harlaown, but to be able to be in the same room with Takamachi….”
“I once heard that Takamachi and Harlaown used to work together.”
I wished that it were bullshit, but deep in my heart I understood that I would probably be dead if we hadn’t met. They started to glance in my direction, and I sent an annoyed glare to Chrono. He rolled his eyes. We both knew what was coming next. It had happened so many times with the same ending.
“Admiral Harlaown?” asked the youngest officer.
“Which one, son?” my brother responded trying to confuse the less-than-sober man.
I groaned and downed my whiskey, “hmmm?”
“Is it true that you used to work with General Takamachi of the Air Force?”
There it was. The question I had heard so many times over the years, and at first I would end up leaving a party in tears. However, now I was able to give a slight smile when I answered.
“Yes, she is the one that recruited me and General Yagami.”
“The Defense Minister?” he squealed.
I nodded and went back to my refreshed drink, which told the excited officer that my part of the conversation was over. He excitedly returned to his comrades. I looked at the amber beverage and congratulated myself. My mind refused to conjure her image at the sound of her name. It was a sign of how much I had progressed over the years.
When I turned twenty-nine, I marked the sixth anniversary of the last time I had shed a tear for you. I had been promoted yet again, but I was now commanding from a desk rather than from the battlefield. The high rank even allowed me to meet up with Hayate when she inspected the Special Forces fleet under my command. It was comforting to find that it seemed as if very little time had passed since we had last seen each other. I wished that I could be closer to her, but I was more thankful that she was busy commanding the armed forces than worrying about my needs. It was through our strength and unity that we had attained an unprecedented era of peace and thus prosperity in our time.
We drank our tea while swapping stories from our offices. She was careful not to mention you, but she did let it slip that Vivio had just turned fourteen. At which point, I would have preferred that she had mentioned you rather than your child. Vivio’s name broke the small fragment left of my heart. She had been my daughter too, but you took her with you when you left.
I wanted to cry. My eyes were desperately trying to produce tears, but nothing came. I had repressed my soul to the point that it had sought sanctuary elsewhere, and now I was crying dust. What a battle-hardened soldier I had become. My biological mother would have been so proud of me.
I finished crying in the instant that you left. Although I did relapse occasionally over the first two years, work numbed my heart and helped me heal or should I say “deal.” The more I remembered; the more that I would work. In the eyes of my colleagues, I was a success. I was the best Special Forces Combat Commander that the Navy had ever produced, but it came at a price that I was gladly willing to pay at the time. I remember that it would have been a hard choice to make if we were still together. However…
I can’t remember how we got to that point. It was so long ago, and I‘ve forced that to the back of my mind so often.
You are holding my hand, but your right hand slides up my arm and touches my cheek. Why is this motion so familiar?
Your arms encircle me and draw me to your chest. My eyes close as my cheek nuzzles your warm neck, and I breathe in the scent of your hair.
I remember. We used to do this. We used to be intimate. We used to be lovers.
My hands act as if they are on autopilot. They find the small of your back and dive under your shirt. You gasp in pleasure. My mind floods with long-forgotten memories of when my hands were young and slid up under your shirt. I hold you tight while my hands grip your shoulders. I pull, and you push till we fall back onto my bed with you above me.
Whatever I had forgotten about this is all coming back to me now.
My mind drifts away from the current bodily pleasure to tease out a puzzle. I think back to my life a decade ago when we woke up together in the golden morning with Vivio cuddled in the middle. We would take turns dropping her off at school while we tried to make it through our Officer Candidate Schools. Emergencies such as the Scaglietti Incident gave us titles that we did not have the credentials for; thus we worked hard to attain the necessary certifications for our ranks that were given in good faith. We tried to give Vivio a normal childhood though we both struggled with the responsibilities from work and school. I would play with her and get her ready for bed while you studied. You would read her bedtime stories while I labored through my Elite Tactics Certification. You would sing her to sleep and then would come downstairs and rub my shoulders as I poured over books of the great commanders of the past.
If I had studied more, I would have been promoted faster, but your shoulder massages usually turned into full-body massages. My books would be knocked to the floor, and you would hoist me onto the desk, spread my legs, and I would soon be grunting and gasping while trying not to wake Vivio up. If I had to do it all over again, I should have studied more, but would I be able to resist your sweet kisses if I had to live through that again? Nah, I’d probably do the same thing. I can’t even work up any regret for all the nights lost while our bodies were locked together. It was painful when it ended, but it felt right at the moment.
“Baby…Baby…” you whisper in a moan presently as my lips work my way up your torso to meet yours.
It was so long ago since I last heard that phrase forced out of your mouth. My lips lock onto yours, and your tongue jets out to find mine. I have already ripped off your shirt, and I feel your warm hands fumbling with the bottom of uniform top. I lift my back up slightly and raise my hands above my head to assist you. Our lips separate briefly as my top flashes between us, and the cool air greets my nearly naked torso. I shiver as you sit up while still straddling me. Your hands are working on my black uniform skirt zipper, but you stop. Your blue eyes look back at me asking for permission to continue. I smile broadly, nod, and lift my hips slightly. You grin back at me, and I feel the zipper slide down my thigh. I have felt this feeling before. Why did I ever turn my back on it? Why did I ever try to forget this feeling of belonging?
Shit. It’s all coming back to me now.
We had even talked about marriage back then and were living like a happy little family with Vivio. We were so na´ve. When did it start? Did we start to fight when Vivio came home from school wanting to join the military? I remember sleeping on the couch that night because of the heated argument. You said that she should have the right to be like her mothers, and I said that I fight so that Vivio would never have to use her magic to destroy anyone or anything in war.
I still think I’m right.
Did it start when I left for three months to complete my SFC certification at Headquarters with Yunno? I knew you were lonely, and I should have kept in better contact with you, but I thought Hayate would keep you company. I was so na´ve. I didn’t catch on till later as to why you were constantly asking how Yunno was and what we were doing together. I should have gone home to you immediately, but I had a goal, and it blinded me.
When I did come home, it was awkward. We would sit near each other, but we didn’t talk. I should have kissed you. I should have done something, but I was waiting for you to make the first move. If I had known that you were thinking the same thing, we could have saved ourselves a decade of heartache.
I should have been more worried when you threatened to take Vivio and live with Hayate. I shouldn’t have laughed at your empty threat. I should have called into work sick that day and spent my time making up my absence to you. I should have been much more concerned when you did go off to Hayate’s for the remainder of the week, and I should have begged for you to come home. But I had work to do and lives to save. I didn’t realize at the time that it would cost me everything that I held dear.
You did come home, but we fought more. I, who lacked the ability to yell outside of my barrier jacket, found my voice, and you matched it as our fights increased and our daughter started crying herself to sleep. Maybe the beginning of the end was when you started to insinuate that there was something between you and Hayate. Yes, my jealousy flared as you intended, but so did my bullshit meter. I knew what you were doing, and your manipulation angered me. I started to think that you were holding me back from my potential. Yes, you had rescued me from certain peril, but I felt as if I needed to ditch the training wheels if I ever wanted to succeed. That’s what led to the final confrontation that kept us distant and separated for over ten years.
It’s all coming back to me now, but I don’t want it to. Now, I remember why I wanted to forget it. My mind knows that the memory is close, and despite my desperate protests it continues to track the elusive encoding.
It finds it, and tears form in my eyes as my mind replays the long-repressed scene.
I came home to find Vivio missing and your clothes emptied from the dresser drawer. It dawned on me what was happening. I was hurt, scared, and confused. I didn’t want you to leave, but I didn’t want you to have this much control over me either. I thought that if I showed you how strong I was and how independent I was that you would reconsider. However, I was reactionary when you were trying to be serious. I was too young and impulsive to understand.
Your clear blue eyes failed to meet mine, and you stared at the floor while you told me that you needed some time to think. You said that I had become a different person since I started to get promoted in the system. I was wounded by your words and knew that they were true. I wanted to apologize and beg for us to return to how things were, but that would cost me my pride. Looking back, I now realize that my pride and dignity would have been a bargain price to pay for keeping you. However, being young and arrogant from over-promotion, I wanted you to feel the same hurt that I was feeling. I failed to realize that you did. I wish I had.
Please, don’t bring that up! I don’t want to remember that!
“I’m sorry, but I need some time to think about us,” the sad brunette in my memory says softly.
“Will you and Vivio be staying over at Hayate’s?” the younger me croaks while trying to appear strong and hold back the tears.
I should have sensed your pain, but I was only aware of my own.
“I confess that I don’t think I’ll be back,” your voice was close to breaking, “I don’t know what happened, but I know that I’m not happy and neither are you. I love you, but I don’t think that my feelings are returned anymore, and I don’t want to make you or Vivio suffer on my account.”
I interpreted your last-chance attempt as an act of nobility. I didn’t realize that you had lain bare your heart for me. You probably thought that your change of demeanor would have shocked me back into reality, but I threw it away.
“Yeah?” my mind replays my words, “Well, before you go, I should probably confess something to you too.”
You opened the front door and stood in the doorway praying that something I would say would make you stay. Your blue eyes search my burgundy ones for any sign of hope. I knew I could wound you like this.
I narrowed my eyes determined to hurt you even worse and so much deeper than you had hurt me, “I fucked Yunno.”
The door slammed shut and thus started my decade of promotions. I became strong physically and even bested my brother who was getting soft from the task of child-making and subsequent childrearing. I climbed the ranks and scared our enemies into peace. Thankfully, since we were on the same side yet in different branches of the armed forces, all matches between us were merely theoretical and the source of drunken conversations between the enlisted men. At first, I rationalized that losing you was the best move for me to attain strength, but as the years went on I forgot you, and thus lost my heart, the very source of my strength.
My hands move from your shoulders to your bra-strap as you pull off the rest of my bottoms. You snicker as you cast your bra on top of my discarded undergarments on the floor next to the bed. My hands move to your front.
I haven’t done this in so long that I’m surprised that I can still remember how.
Your lips attack mine, but they don’t stay there. Soon they wander all over my body, and your hand also finds a familiar area. I gasp as I predict the next movements. I wonder if you remember where my spo-
You do. Oh, yes, yes, yes, you do.
I grab hold of you tightly and moan while I kiss you. I can’t believe I can still do this after all these years. I wonder if you feel the same.
I am reminded of when we used to do this on a nightly basis. I would come home, kick my heels off, and start counting down till the time I could have you alone. You took over my world, but would I do it all over again, if I had the chance? Yes, I would. Those times always felt right. We would go on for hours even though we knew we had evasive maneuver drills in the morning. If they had known, our commanding officers probably would have placed us in separate barracks.
“Baby, Baby, Baby” you scream as my hands remember where your sensitive area is.
You grip my sides and clench your teeth as your body convulses in release. I don’t mind the slight pain since I bit you hard enough to draw blood when I experienced the same ecstasy at your hands moments earlier. You let your weight fall on me as we catch our breath. I let my arm rest on your back in a loose embrace. We lay like this for a while, and then you slide over to my right side. You sit on the bed watching me lovingly. I roll onto my right side and use my right arm to hold my head as I meet your eyes. Your hand strokes my hair, and you smile gently. I wonder what you see when you look at me like this. Am I beautiful? I know my face has a few wrinkles now. I’m quieter yet more aggressive than when you last saw me, yet can I still be redeemed? The morning sun’s rays dance on your naked skin and your unfettered hair. I know that you’ll draw it into a ponytail at the first chance you get, but at least let me marvel at you for a few more moments. It’s been so long, and you are so beautiful. Why did I let you go?
I wasn’t even supposed to be at Hayate’s party last night. She throws it every year with her guardian knights as a “Celebration of Unity, Negotiations, and Treaties” or “CoUNT.” Of course, most of the officers use the other acronym for a cheap laugh. Only a few people knew that the party was on the anniversary of the day Reinforce I allowed herself to be sealed to protect her master. Hayate especially wanted us to attend every year, because we could share in her loss since we were there. However, after you left, I would find an excuse not to go. I didn’t want to run into you after I had wasted your love.
I don’t know why I decided to come this year. Maybe it was because I had heard that you had been absent from the last two parties and that you were busy helping Vivio make it through her S exams. If she passes at age sixteen, she will be the youngest mage to have passed the exams since a trio of eleven year olds did it when they entered the TSAB. Like mother; like daughter. Maybe that’s why I went. I wanted to see if you would send Vivio in your place. She probably wouldn’t remember me at all, but I just wanted to see a piece of the world I left behind.
I didn’t even come through the front door. I flew up to the balcony and paid off the bartender to let me in. The house was packed with politicians and celebrities in beautiful gowns and suits. I wore my formal dress uniform, which was black with blue trimming. A good commander always knows his path of retreat, and thus I stayed close to the window. Assistant Secretary to the Defense Minister, Signum, spotted me first. My mentor had also chosen to wear her formal dress uniform rather than a dress. I saluted her since she outranked me now.
“General,” I greeted.
“Admiral,” she replied and then swept me up into a tight hug.
“Signum!” I gasped as some of the other guests looked on in surprise.
“Where have you been, Testarossa?”
The proud Belkan Knight sounded as if her voice would break at any moment. Was it the stress of her new job that was forcing tears from her eyes, or was it my sudden appearance? I didn’t know what to say, and when I opened my mouth, a sob escaped. That was not in the plan. Signum hugged me tighter and cried with me as if the prodigal son had returned. Maybe that’s what I was to her.
“Signum, are you ok? Someone said that you were crying…Fate?”
I broke my hold of my old teacher and wiped my eyes with my sleeve. However, a bob of brown hair soon obscured my vision.
“When did you get here, idiot? You never responded to the RSVP,” the most powerful woman in the TSAB cried into my shoulder.
“I’m sorry, Hayate,” I mumbled.
“I haven’t heard a word from you in a year!”
“I thought you were busy,” I stammered.
“I am,” she laughed controlling her relief and anger, “but that doesn’t mean that I’ve completely sacrificed my private life. It’s been really tough, and there’s only so much I can hash out with my guardians and Nanoha.”
Guilt flooded me.
“Why didn’t you tell me that? I would do anything for you.”
“Except talk to me,” Hayate said with a smile.
I let the tears stream down my face, and Hayate wrapped her arms around me.
“I thought you were done being my friend,” Hayate whispered into my ear as I felt a few of her tears bleed through my uniform jacket.
“I didn’t know,” I cried as I choked back my own sobs.
The flash of a camera brought us back into reality. Hayate flinched at the sound of the camera shutter and quickly wiped her eyes.
“I’m sorry,” she announced to the circle of very interested reporters who had swarmed around us, “My very old friend, Admiral Fate T. Harlaown, has made time in her busy schedule to grace me with her presence.”
She took a glass of wine from a passing server and raised it in the air.
“To old friends,” she toasted, and the crowd followed in suit.
I was amazed at her ability to handle a crowd and control the press. No wonder that she’s the Defense Minister. She started to go back downstairs to the main level of her party but quickly turned to me when she saw that I would be staying near the bar and the balcony.
“Please stay tonight,” she requested softly.
“Is that an order, Minister?” I teased.
She raised her eyebrow, “Why, yes. That’s an order, Admiral.”
I smiled and saluted much to her amusement, and she followed her guardian knights to the main floor. I sat at the bar and ordered a shot of Chopin. My current bar never had the stuff, so I thought I would treat myself. The bartender placed the small glass in front of me, and I took a small sip of the clear liquid. I loved the sensation of the cold liquid causing a slight burn as it traveled to my stomach. I could tell that I would be drunk tonight. Maybe it was a good thing that I would be staying here.
There was a thunder of applause from downstairs, but I didn’t care. More people downstairs meant that I had this bartender’s undivided attention. He was a pleasant conversationalist and didn’t skimp on the liquor. He could bet on getting a very large tip from me, because those were the two things that I like best about bartenders. However, my hasty exit from Soberville would be derailed by one word.
I shouldn’t have turned around. I didn’t deserve the title from anyone, but I twisted my torso and met the multicolored eyes of Vivio. She was beautiful. She had her hair pulled up in an off-centered ponytail just like her blue-eyed mother, but her facial expressions were mine. She wore the brown uniform of the TSAB Army and the bar on her lapel indicated that she was a Second Lieutenant. She was serious, and I was embarrassed. I stared at her for what seem to be for hours until I felt a warm tear slide down my cheek.
A hard slap woke me from my stupor causing the bartender to drop a bottle in surprise. I placed my hand on my stinging cheek.
“I deserved that,” I said calmly to the young mage with a trembling lower lip, while another tear ran down my cheek.
I was caught up in a tight hug as Vivio cried into my chest, “Ten years! Fate-mama, for ten years, I thought I drove you away. I thought it was my crying that forced you away from Nanoha-mama. I tried not to!”
I hugged her tightly completely at a loss as to what to do.
“Unsigned birthday cards and anonymous notes! I knew they were from you!” my estranged daughter cried, “You never came to see me though. All I wanted was for you to be proud of me, but you never came to see me. I’m sorry, Fate-mama! I’m sorry that Nanoha-mama took me away! It was my fault.”
“No! Vivio!” I nearly screamed.
What have I done?
“It was never your fault! It wasn’t even Nanoha-mama’s fault! It was mine! You were nothing but the best child that a parent could ever wish for. I didn’t deserve you.”
I held her tightly as we both sobbed.
“Please, Fate-mama, don’t leave me again,” she said when we could finally speak without sobbing.
“Are you staying here tonight?”
She nodded with her characteristic “Hmm.”
I missed that about her, but an older officer walked by us with an offended look on his face. I broke our embrace, and she saluted me as she quickly assessed the situation. I gave her a quick hug when the gentleman turned the corner.
“I’ll be here tonight too. Let’s talk after,” I whispered.
She smiled while wiping her eyes with her sleeve and gracefully walked toward her peers grouped together near the buffet line. I felt the lightness that only forgiveness provided. I may have lost ten years, but I wouldn’t waste another moment of my daughter’s life. I turned to sit at the bar to wait out the evening when a familiar voice sent shivers down my spine.
“That was pretty gutsy of you to take all the blame. Nanoha-mama had her own part to play in that debacle.”
I didn’t turn around. I didn’t have to, because I knew exactly who it was.
“Nanoha-mama wouldn’t have been placed in that predicament if Fate-mama hadn’t shoved her there,” I replied.
“Get you something, General?” the bartender asked.
“I’ll have what she’s having.”
“When did you start drinking it neat?” she said to me before turning back to the bartender, “Throw some cranberry juice in there.”
She sat down on the stool next to me. I couldn’t bring myself to look at her even though I would visit this moment in my dreams.
The young man placed a cocktail napkin on the bar, and the drink made a light clunk as he placed it on the napkin in front of her.
“I always wondered what I would say to you if we should ever meet again. You would think that after ten years I would have something prepared, but I can’t think of anything,” you said with a hint of a smile.
We stared at our drinks, and I tried desperately to think of something to say to you.
“Thank you for receiving Vivio like you did,” you said softly breaking the silence.
“I’m sorry that I didn’t do that sooner,” I said finally finding my voice, “It was my fault. I should have protected her from something that was between you and me.”
“There you go again taking all the blame. I should have shielded her, but I have a feeling that she would have known no matter what we would have tried to hide our problems. She’s sensitive like that.”
I finally found my nerve and turned my head to face you. You had on your Air Force dress uniform with its white cloth and blue trim. Your face had aged but not as to look old but as to appear mature. However, your blue eyes were as clear as when you were nine and yelling at me to take your hand. You were beautiful. You blushed when you saw me staring at you.
“What? Do I have something on my face?” You asked sincerely.
I laughed. That’s the you that my dreams conjure up when I am defenseless to repress them.
“You’ve changed, Fate-chan.”
“I know. I’m sorry.”
“No, it’s not bad, just different. Are you staying here tonight?”
“Maybe we can talk then when all these reporters go home.”
“I’d like that.”
“Let me leave you my number, so we can meet up when this party empties out.”
You scribbled something on your cocktail napkin and hand it to me. I took it without looking at it. You smiled, took one more sip from your drink, and walked to the staircase. I watched you disappear from my sight and glanced down at the message on the napkin.
I still love you, Fate.
I rushed to the stairwell only to find that you had vanished into the large crowd. I went back to the bar and sat down agitated. I was anxious to get in contact with you, but how? Then, the answer came to me, and I settled my mind to communicate by heart. I tried to retrieve the long-lost memory of her heart’s synchronization. A memory seized me, and I trusted it.
I love you, Nanoha. I’m sorry that I didn’t have the courage to say it to your face.
My stomach gurgled as I was engulfed in anxious waiting, but no response came to me. Not everything was coming back to me it seemed, and I ordered another shot of vodka to calm my nerves.
The party progressed till midnight, and then the guests began making their goodbyes. I tipped the bartender handsomely and staggered behind the butler who was showing me to my room. I hadn’t planned on staying, but I was in no condition to fly or drive at the moment. Thus, I summoned my emergency travel supplies from Bardiche. It had three days worth of toiletries and military-issued clothing that I kept on hand for situations such as this. I collapsed on the bed and must have fallen asleep, because a knock at the door woke me up. In my grogginess, I thought it must have been Hayate or Vivio. I stood in shock when I faced you outside of my opened door.
I got your message,
said a voice inside my heart.
I was crying, and so were you as you wrapped your arms around me and allowed our lips to touch. All those memories and fantasies of your flesh that I had kept back for so long were all coming back to me now.
You are still sitting on the bed next to me. I have to depart soon to rejoin my colleagues at the war department, but I have no desire to leave your side.
“Nanoha,” I say breaking the still peace.
You look at me with such a content smile that it makes my heart calm.
“I didn’t fuck Yunno.”
“Nyahaha! I know,” you laugh, “I didn’t mess with Hayate either.”
“Can you forgive me of all this?” I beg.
“Will you forgive me?” you ask drawing your face close to mine.
“If you can forgive and forget so quickly, then so can I,” you say while kissing my temple.
How much and how deeply I love you is all coming back to me now. I look up at you and see you staring back at me. I throw my arms around you and press my flesh against yours. You hold me tightly.
“I love you, Nanoha,” I say through tears of happiness and regret for time lost.
“I love you too, Fate,” you say calmly, “More than you’ll ever know.”
When you kiss me like this,
And when I touch you like that,
If we do it like this,
It's all coming back to me now.
And if we…
Last edited by Allquall; 2008-06-21 at
. Reason: I get to say words that rhyme with "Luck!"
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