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Join Date: Dec 2009
I finally managed to finish a chapter before midnight. I'm in shock.
“It’s not like I
to be put in charge of you!”
Setsuna marched out of their room, slamming the door shut behind her.
She doesn’t seem very happy with me.
Tsukuyomi tapped her pencil rhythmically against the posts of her bed. Her dear Senpai had decided to let her keep the pencil during lunchtime so that she’d have something to do besides staring out the window at people she wasn’t allowed—or able—to slice up. Usually the pencil was taken away from her when they weren’t in classes, never mind that it was about as dangerous as a toothless kitten.
Or a caged bird.
Small cracks appeared in the tiny, hopelessly dull writing tool.
In all fairness, she wasn’t too pleased with Setsuna either.
It had all started very innocently, with her being very mature and quiet about the sudden gaping hole of misery in her schedule. She would go about her days without complaining, productively taking out any irritation building up on the temperamental princess. Setsuna had been a little confused by their sudden lack of communicating, but she didn’t say anything. She went out of her way to avoid speaking to Tsukuyomi in the first place, so the change in attitude was even appreciated on some level.
That conclusion did not help Tsukuyomi’s mood at all.
Instead of limiting herself to bothering the princess, which had a very clear purpose, she started baiting Setsuna just a little. She would have preferred annoying Konoka, since a surprising amount of her frustration was directed at the girl, but at least this way Setsuna couldn’t ignore her.
It started small, with her bringing up certain behaviors and actions that were certain to embarrass her Senpai. Just little things like how, most days, she avoided completely looking away from Tsukuyomi when they were getting dressed in the morning. Setsuna’s paranoia could be delightfully fun.
Setsuna had carefully kept her temper in check, enduring every remark with a startling level of control and silence.
Then today had happened.
She probably should have expected that bringing up Konoka would immediately turn their heating interaction into a real argument. Setsuna was not rational when it came to her partner.
Tsukuyomi’s pencil snapped in two.
Pointing out that
was Setsuna’s primary charge now, so it wasn’t very proper at all for her to be sneaking off with Konoka so often, probably hadn’t been the best idea either. Actually, the slammed door pretty much confirmed that.
They’d never had a real argument before. Usually, Tsukuyomi just wasn’t bothered enough to answer Setsuna’s temper with her own. Very few things could get under her skin in a way that left her open for provocation. The last time she’d had an argument with someone that wasn’t completely one-sided—
Tsukuyomi groaned and banged her head into her mattress.
Setsuna could make things so complicated.
Even when they first met, Setsuna just—
Setsuna had caused her problems. Having such delicious prey waiting for her—everything else became stale. She still killed, and she still felt the delirious thrill that came with fighting strong opponents, but Setsuna was always in the back of her mind. The quiet, serious girl who was on fire even when she wasn’t bleeding.
Her best possible opponent.
Tsukuyomi pushed herself off the bed and went over to Setsuna’s nest, picking up the shards of her pencil as she moved. The bedding was far from warm by now, but it was still comforting to rest where Setsuna slept.
She tapped the sharpest piece of wood against her wrist thoughtfully.
If she—ignored her argument and otherwise frosty interaction with her Senpai, things were not going badly. The princess had a temper that was more than easy to manipulate, and she didn’t like Tsukuyomi in the first place. It wasn’t unreasonable to think that she’d start lashing out soon.
And then it would take a little more work to get Asuna using her artifact, but after that, the Seal would be destroyed, and Tsukuyomi would be free to do whatever she wanted. After, of course, saying a proper goodbye to Setsuna.
Oh. But if she wanted that, she’d have to plan things a little more thoroughly. If she stayed, someone would force her to get the stomach wound treated, and if it was a real medic instead of Konoka, they would probably know to check on the Seal, and when they found out it was gone, they would reapply it, and that just really wouldn’t work.
And she couldn’t say goodbye before the Seal was destroyed because she didn’t know when the princess would finally lose it.
Tsukuyomi thought about it for a few seconds.
If it was the injury that would end up causing her trouble, then Asuna was the problem. Her style was still too unrefined to predict easily, so instead of a direct hit, Tsukuyomi would have to force the sword through the Seal from wherever it landed in the first place. That would make the injury too large to ignore.
There wouldn’t be a problem if the wound was small enough, but she couldn’t expect that kind of accuracy from an enraged girl who didn’t realize she was supposed to be aiming at anything. And besides that, Asuna preferred a slashing motion to a stabbing one. Using the princess meant that a large, bloody wound was practically guaranteed.
Did Luna’s technique work on artifacts? She couldn’t remember. If it did, she could just ask for a favor. Luna was very fond of Negi, but she still felt guilty about betraying her comrades. She could definitely be convinced to help Tsukuyomi.
But what if it didn’t work like that? Then she was stuck with using the princess and she’d have to leave the second the Seal broke.
Tsukuyomi prodded her palm with the broken remains of her pencil.
She didn’t know what to do.
Maybe she should put everything on hold until she had a better idea.
A shiver ran up her spine. She didn’t like that idea much at all. She had practice going uncomfortable lengths of time without the joy of killing someone, but it was getting harder and harder to ignore how cold she was during the day. She needed—and wanted so very badly—to spill someone’s blood as soon as possible.
The pencil dug into her hand.
She looked down at it.
It was sharp. Not very, but if she wanted to break the skin, she could.
She didn’t want to yet.
Too much pain for too little blood, and she’d probably get a splinter. The pencil really wasn’t sharp enough to use properly.
Also, Setsuna might notice. Then the pencil would get taken away, and she’d be in worse shape than she was already in.
Tsukuyomi poked the wood deeper into her hand and looked at the clock by the windowsill.
Forty-five minutes to go.
…She really disliked Konoka.
“You had a fight?”
“She started it,” Setsuna muttered into her tea. Across from her, Konoka was holding back a smile. It made her concerned expression look entirely unconvincing, and Setsuna could feel her cheeks burning. She turned away, pretending to be interested in Evangeline tearing into Negi.
If Tsukuyomi had just kept quiet, things never would have escalated the way they did, and Setsuna wouldn’t have to worry about how close to breaking their door was. She didn’t think it would take much more abuse, and if it broke, the wards keeping Tsukuyomi in there would break, and she didn’t know what Tsukuyomi would do if she was free of her confinement, but that was a horror best not imagined.
“It’s hard to imagine Tsukuyomi-san arguing with anyone,” Konoka said. “I know she’s—very good at irritating people, but it’s hard to imagine something bothering her.”
Setsuna sipped her tea awkwardly, keeping her eyes on Negi and Evangeline. Negi had really improved. He still wasn’t good enough to actually beat his master (thanks in no small part to the severe injuries he’d taken from fighting Fate), but she was no longer holding back when they fought. If anything, since hearing about his adventures with the scroll version of herself, she’d started going out of her way to make sure she was dominating their matches.
“She’s not sleeping well either.”
Setsuna didn’t know why she said that, and if the look on Konoka’s meant anything, her partner didn’t either. It had next to nothing to do with their argument—it had nothing to do with anything, but she’d still noticed. Anyone would notice, and right now it seemed like—like it mattered. Tsukuyomi’s sleep was getting more and more disturbed. Setsuna was shocked that she was still waking up looking so well-rested.
Konoka slid out of her chair and walked around the small table to sit herself on Setsuna’s lap and tightly wrap her arms around her partner. Setsuna’s eyes widened. Konoka’s head was curled into her neck, and Setsuna could feel every warm breath beating against her skin. Her arms automatically rose to hold Konoka closer to her.
“You are though?”
“Um. Yes. I’m much better Kono-chan.” Konoka was far too close. Setsuna could barely feel her smile against the raging heat taking over her entire body.
“Y-yeah.” Very, very good. With Konoka in her arms like this, it was impossible for something to be not good.
Konoka sighed happily and cuddled closer to Setsuna. “Hey, Set-chan? We should—”
They both jumped at the sound of Asuna’s voice, and Setsuna had to hold Konoka even tighter to keep the girl from falling off her lap. Konoka smiled gratefully before twisting around to grin tightly at their friend. The expression slid from her face when she looked over Asuna’s shoulder. Setsuna followed her gaze to a smoking crater near the pool.
Maybe Evangeline was being a little
rough with Negi.
Konoka jumped out of Setsuna’s lap and rushed towards the crater, drawing out her wand. Her voice echoed around the resort as she lectured the unconcerned vampire in between propping Negi up and trying to comfort the semi-conscious boy. Asuna quickly joined her in reprimanding Evangeline, though she was much louder and more direct about it.
The smoke was clearing, and Negi was starting to sit up on his own, protesting the use of Konoka’s magic because the fight wasn’t over, and it wasn’t fair that he got to be healed in the middle of it. Asuna started yelling at him instead of the diminutive vampire while Konoka pointed out that he shouldn’t be taking unnecessary risks during training.
Negi hung his head and agreed with her quietly, all the while trying to stand up on his own and avoid the wand she was waving at him.
Setsuna leaned back in her chair, feeling a smile pull at her lips.
She’d missed this.
Tsukuyomi leaned over the side of her bed, watching Setsuna sleep.
She looked relaxed.
It wasn’t fair that she could look that happy in her sleep when they weren’t getting along.
Setsuna came back from her time with her friends perfectly willing to forget that they’d ever had an argument. She came back to their room, took Tsukuyomi to class, and didn’t say a single word about it. Or anything else.
How could she just brush it off like it was nothing?
At least the silence had seemed a little irritated.
And Setsuna did have an extra day to think about things.
Tsukuyomi shivered and pulled her sheets around her more tightly.
Tomorrow, she’d make sure that her Senpai couldn’t ignore things.
“Good night, Setsuna-senpai,” she whispered.
In case I haven't mentioned, this story splits from canon after chapter 290. I don't think it's relevant for this chapter specifically, but since I wasn't very specific before... yeah.
Also, this was a pain to write. All I could think while I was writing this chapter was how badly I wanted to work on the next one. Because the next one is going to be fun. Mostly for me. ...That probably means I'll get stuck writing it and won't finish it for about a month.
Thanks for reading.
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