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Join Date: Dec 2009
*pops head out*
I finally managed to write a new chapter of 'Taken Day by Day'. Happy day.
Uh... fair warning? I suck at writing action. Just.... really.
Tsukuyomi spun Fate’s head around on her finger.
She liked Fate-han. Really, she did. As far as employers went, he was the most agreeable one she’d had the pleasure of serving. She considered most of his plans far too complicated, but since her only concern was keeping the opposition from sabotaging his grand ideas, that was just fine. And the large scale meant that they had quite a bit of opposition.
If only he didn’t insist on keeping her restrained, this job would be a dream come true.
He did, though. More overly complicated reasoning she didn’t care for. As adorable as his little infatuation with dear Negi-kun was, it was probably a good thing he was only now starting to act truly human. Otherwise he would have been irresistible to her, and in general she disapproved of fighting with one’s employer.
In general. When one’s employer was insisting on ignoring his own humanity, the only proper thing to do was to chop some sense into him.
And hadn’t that worked so delightfully? Her hair might take a while to grow back, but at least now Fate-han couldn’t deny that he had a heart, and that heart was longing for Negi-kun’s blood.
This is boring.
Tsukuyomi tossed Fate’s head up in the air, catching it on the tip of her sword. She could feel the blood shooting through her veins, the adrenaline from her earlier skirmish buzzing under her skin. She did not want to be sitting at the bottom of some tower. She wanted to be outside spreading as much carnage as possible.
Unfortunately, that course of action had been ruled a poor use of her time. Instead, Fate wanted her to
for their friends to show up. Because they would. That was how good little heroes were supposed to behave, wasn’t it? And of course, their opponents were nothing if not good.
Right now, that was an annoying trait. It guaranteed their presence here
Fate-han was pleased with that. It allowed him to set things up to his liking.
Tsukuyomi was… not good at being patient. Following Setsuna—and the princess of course—for weeks without being able to touch her was by far the hardest thing she had ever done. Waiting in an empty chamber for her victims to arrive was not something she took any pleasure in.
But she did have some self-control. She could force herself to wait if that was what Fate asked of her. She was nothing if not a good, loyal employee. And unlike last time, she wasn’t being told to keep from touching the prize right in front of her eyes. This wasn’t nearly as difficult.
She flipped Fate’s head up in the air a few more times, doing a very good job of ignoring the quiet energy building up in her head and hands. She could feel herself wanting. She wanted to leave the quiet tower and find Negi and his companions. Negi-kun was off limits, but the others… their absence from the field of battle would only make Fate’s partners feel less important. That was hardly a concern.
She could kill them. Their delicate little bodies would fall the second she penetrated their smooth, unmarred flesh. They were all so weak—it would be so simple to run her blades over their bodies, stripping them of flesh and letting their blood run free.
It could even be counted as helping Fate-han; Negi-kun would react beautifully when he saw—
Only she was ignoring that. Because even though she undoubtedly knew how to handle Fate’s infatuation with Negi better than he did, he cared quite a bit about doing things in the most complicated way possible. It wouldn’t be very nice to keep him from dealing with Negi the way he wanted to.
After all, if someone tried to interfere with her relationship with her senpai, she wouldn’t be very happy at all. There were some things that simply weren’t done.
Oh, and Fate had problems with her killing real people. She couldn’t imagine why, but that probably meant that disobeying orders to go slaughter a bunch of silly teenage girls would not be met with much gratitude.
Leaving her stuck here.
Tsukuyomi moved Fate’s head down to her foot and kicked it a few times. Their guests were taking forever to arrive. This wasn’t any fun.
Then the front door exploded.
Ah! That’s more like it!
Setsuna thought she was prepared to meet their opponents in combat. Training had improved her skills enough that the odds of anything like her last disgraceful match happening were close to zero. She was strong, and more than willing to give it her all against Fate’s group. If anything, she was a little too willing.
Earlier, she had wondered a little if she should ask Negi to let her fight Tsukuyomi. He had his own grudge to settle with Fate, didn’t he? He should be able to understand how badly she wanted to have a proper duel with the girl. And… someone would have to fight Tsukuyomi. Putting in a request beforehand wasn’t such a big deal, right?
Only it was. She had to remember her place.
No matter how badly she wanted revenge (or just wanted to hurt the insufferable girl), she was first and foremost Konoka’s partner and a loyal member of the Ala Alba. All she should care about was getting everyone home safely. Next to that, fighting Tsukuyomi was supposed to be a low priority. It was only as important as defeating the rest of Fate’s group.
She could feel all that logic slipping away when they charged into the tower and saw Tsukuyomi waiting for them.
The girl had lost a lot of her hair since their last meeting. Setsuna wasn’t entirely sure how intentional that was—she saw scorch marks, but for all she knew, Tsukuyomi liked cutting her hair in the most dangerous way possible.
And—she looked excited. Her eyes were bright and happy as she took in the collection of fighters she was probably already considering her victims. A chaotic grin decorated her face, and the whites of her eyes were already going dark.
Then her gaze fell on Setsuna. The change in expression was small, but she still saw it. Tsukuyomi’s grin widened to one of true pleasure instead of just excitement, and Setsuna was sure the bloodlust wasn’t the only thing responsible for her darkening eyes anymore.
Setsuna felt every single reason she had against fighting Tsukuyomi alone fall to pieces in her mind. This was her enemy.
And more than anything, she wanted to fight her.
It wasn’t just Setsuna standing there; she knew that. She caught sight of the rest briefly. The rest of the fighters—and Konoka too, if her peripheral vision wasn’t failing her—were there, though they were currently frozen for some mysterious reason.
But Tsukuyomi’s eyes immediately found Setsuna’s. Her Senpai’s.
And then she simply couldn’t look away. She found her desire to rip Negi’s other companions to shred fading quickly into the back of her mind.
This was her. This was the one.
As long as she had this opponent, she didn’t care what anyone else did. Setsuna was the only one she wanted. And
how she wanted her. Right now, she couldn’t even find it in her to care about her role in Fate’s plan.
Someone had fixed her Setsuna-senpai.
There was nothing of the hesitance Tsukuyomi had half-expected to have to slice out of Setsuna. There was only hardened determination and a hot rage that left Tsukuyomi breathless.
That clarity—that delicious expression of emotion—wasn’t something Setsuna would allow herself to feel unless someone went out of their way to fix her. Her senpai was so cautious—even when they first met, she was so controlled… But now…
Tsukuyomi felt a little lightheaded.
Of course, then someone just had to ruin the moment and remind her that they weren’t alone.
Setsuna jerked her head to look at Shiori, who was supposed to still be acting like Asuna. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Tsukuyomi react the same way. And Negi—Negi looked horrified.
For a second she didn’t know what the problem was. Then she caught the movement around Tsukuyomi’s foot and realized that Negi and Shiori had a very good reason to be upset.
“What did you do to Fate-sama?!”
Tsukuyomi blinked at the enraged girl. It seemed that the only thing keeping her from doing something foolish was the grip an annoyed-looking gunslinger had on her shoulders.
“Luna-chan, you’re not doing a very good job of keeping yourself a secret.” Not that anyone seemed especially surprised by her outburst, but that probably just meant that she did a really,
bad job of keeping herself a secret.
The girl shook her head, clearly wanting to say something, but Negi beat her to it.
“Tsukuyomi-san,” he said shakily, “I was under the impression that you and Fate were on the same side. Why—why did you—”
Tsukuyomi rolled her eyes and threw Fate’s head into the air, bisecting it on its way down. Shiori cried out and Negi’s face paled even further. Konoka also looked vaguely disturbed, but thankfully the ninja, gunslinger, and her senpai were reacting more sensibly.
In fact, Setsuna had the most interesting expression on her face.
“You don’t have to worry, Negi-kun. I only removed his arm, and that should be reattached by now. You two will get to have your fun.”
So that really was all there was to it. She just enjoyed fighting that much. There was no deeper meaning behind it; that was just the way she was.
If that was the case… Setsuna was almost relieved. No matter how disgusting her motives were, this really was the best place for her. This was where she could help her friends the most. The last thing they needed was a powerful, crazed swordswoman with no clear allegiance running around. Setsuna didn’t want to think about the trouble the other girl could cause if she decided things weren’t interesting enough for her here.
And… she wouldn’t use the Code of the Lifemaker this way. It wouldn’t be sporting.
“You need to be going to fight Fate and rescue Asuna-san now, Negi-sensei. You can’t afford to waste time here. I’ll take care of her.”
Negi turned abruptly to stare at Setsuna. “Are you sure, Setsuna-san?” he asked quietly, eyes drifting back to the perversely cheerful girl. “She’s—there’s something not right about her.” He sounded almost guilty saying it.
Setsuna smiled tightly. “It’s fine, Sensei. I’m the best match for her, so right now, I can help you most if I stay here and fight her. And besides…” She looked up at her enemy. Yes, Tsukuyomi’s eyes were glowing with anticipation. “She won’t cause any trouble as long as she has me here to satisfy her, isn’t that right Tsukuyomi?”
Tsukuyomi laughed—she couldn’t help it.
She brought her kodachi up to her mouth and ran her tongue over the edge. She could all but taste Setsuna’s blood on it. How delicious it would be. The raw
that would come from that… “Of course, Setsuna-senpai. Since you’ve gotten over that adorable bout of childishness, you’re definitely the only one I want.”
How cute, Konoka seemed to react very poorly to that comment. And Setsuna wasn’t happy about it either. Her pactio card was already in her hand. Yūnagi had been out to begin with.
The fun gunslinger girl chuckled and tightened her arm around a very disgruntled Luna. “Well then, we should be moving on, shouldn’t we Sensei?”
With one last look at Setsuna, Negi nodded. Good. He wasn’t going to be unreasonable about things. Tsukuyomi would have hated to have to injure him before Fate had his way with the boy.
Now… now she could really have her fun. No one was going to interrupt them this time.
“Konoka-dono, you’re not coming?”
Konoka smiled back at Kaede and moved so that she was standing in front of Setsuna. “I think I should stay with Set-chan.”
Mana shook her head, shifting her gaze between Shiori and Tsukuyomi. “You sure about that, Konoe?”
Konoka nodded happily. “I’m here because all of you could get hurt, but I can’t help if I’m left defenseless. All of the people we’ll be fighting are a lot stronger than I am. Set-chan’s the only one who’s used to fighting and protecting me at the same time, and Negi-kun can summon me when I’m needed.”
Setsuna tore her eyes away from Tsukuyomi, cold, miserable dread building up in her stomach.
“Ojou-sama, no. It’s dangerous.”
If she’d had her way, Konoka would have stayed with their other companions; not entirely safe, but a great deal safer than she was now. Setsuna wasn’t about to put her in more danger by keeping her anywhere near Tsukuyomi. The girl was too dangerous for anyone to be safe around her. And Tsukuyomi already had too many reasons to pay Konoka extra attention.
Konoka smiled at her. “No it’s not. You promised to protect me, didn’t you?”
“And besides that,” Konoka continued, “you aren’t just my bodyguard, Set-chan. You’re my partner. I should be with you when you’re in danger.”
Tsukuyomi thought she might be able to appreciate Fate’s problems a little more right now. His horribly complicated plans depended on a million different things going right, and could come undone if just one thing went wrong.
Meanwhile, her plans were simple little things—that could still go very, very wrong if the wrong thing happened at the wrong time.
Partners? When did that happen?
Suddenly the world wasn’t so happy and bright. Konoka’s little revelation was accompanied by the painfully obvious melting of Setsuna’s resolve and—that just wasn’t fair. The stage was set, the pieces were in place, and then that
just waltzed in and corrupted it all.
Did she even realize the magnitude of what she just destroyed?
Tsukuyomi could feel the little self-control she’d managed starting to die.
She thought she might like to murder the Konoe girl.
Setsuna barely managed to get in front of Konoka before Tsukuyomi attempted to slice off her partner’s head.
The blonde’s blades clashed against Yūnagi, pushing Setsuna several feet back and practically knocking Konoka over. Setsuna’s arms shook under the force Tsukuyomi put behind her swing.
Tsukuyomi wasn’t playing this time. She would have killed Konoka. Worse, it seemed like she wanted to.
Setsuna hadn’t had a chance to see Tsukuyomi angry before. And—she wasn’t—it wasn’t really anger. But there was something wrong with her expression. That level of irritation just didn’t fit on Tsukuyomi’s face.
This was bad.
“Ojou-sama,” Setsuna said softly, not daring to look away from Tsukuyomi, “stay if you have to.” She pretty much did, at this point. Their friends had already left, and Setsuna wasn’t about to let Konoka wander the tower alone. “But don’t interfere. I need you to promise that no matter what happens, you’ll let this be between me and her. You need to stay out of the way.”
.” Tsukuyomi’s sword was starting to slide down Yūnagi—if Setsuna had to stay here much longer, she’d lose a hand. She needed to be able to move.
“Okay,” Konoka whispered. Setsuna barely kept herself from letting her muscles slack in relief. Now, time to make Tsukuyomi remember that this duel only involved them.
She released Yūnagi from the hold Tsukuyomi’s blades had created and stepped to the side, ducking around the sudden flurry of steel aiming to remove one of her limbs and slipping her pactio card into her hand.
It would have been nice to laugh at Setsuna’s chosen outfit. The second that glorious sword came into her hands, fabric Tsukuyomi recognized from her years at the Shinmeiryuu dojo materialized in place of Setsuna’s usual clothes.
She was so attached to that school. If Tsukuyomi had enjoyed her time at the place more, she might have appreciated it a little. It was cute that her senpai had such a sense of belonging to an organization that officially considered her a traitor. Or maybe if Setsuna just wasn’t using a card representing her—
I don’t think I care to think about that anymore.
It was bad enough that she hadn’t held back her desire to murder Konoka at the start of the duel.
It isn’t going to ruin my fun. Not when Setsuna-senpai is so eager to play with me.
Tsukuyomi glanced over at where Konoka had chosen to move for a second. Then she looked back at Setsuna, full of fire and already trying to land a decisive blow.
Yes… Definitely. She could manage it. It wasn’t even a matter of holding back; Setsuna was the only one she wanted. Next to her, murdering a slight annoyance was meaningless. Murder was such a distasteful pastime after all. …And Tsukuyomi couldn’t deny her senpai when she was making her intent so clear.
Besides, if she won, she could do whatever she wanted to the innocent Konoe heir.
Yes, that will do nicely. And until then—
Tsukuyomi dodged the pretty new sword’s blade to avoid losing an ear and slashed her sword low, aiming for Setsuna’s legs
—Until then, I will have Setsuna-senpai. All of her, if I care to.
Setsuna easily evaded the low swipe and matched it by bringing down Yūnagi hard against Tsukuyomi’s sword, driving the point into the stone floor. For a fraction of a second, it stayed stuck there. The slight halt in the flow of Tsukuyomi’s movements created a small opportunity for Setsuna to slice her artifact upward, aiming to slash through Tsukuyomi’s abdomen.
Simple simple simple—but she’s trying to kill me now.
Takemikazuchi slammed into her kodachi.
But I wonder why
Something doesn’t feel quite right.
Is it not the same expression?
Yes… that hesitance is back.
She followed the quick flicker in Setsuna’s eyes and sighed in disappointment as she dodged the slow swipe meant to slash across her face.
Then she thought about it a little and grinned.
Motivation was not murder.
This fight felt so much different than their last one.
Just like before, Tsukuyomi was matching every strike she made, but the force behind the blows was so different. It was one thing to know that the blonde wasn’t playing around this time, but it was quite another to feel it. Tsukuyomi was aiming to kill this time.
Setsuna felt her eyes drift subconsciously over to where Konoka was before she dragged her attention back to the fight.
This wasn’t good. With Konoka here—
She’s safest here. She’s safest with me. But right now, I’m not safe with her.
The thought almost distracted her badly enough that she didn’t hear Tsukuyomi start to talk.
“I have to say, I’m happy that you got yourself fixed since last time.”
Setsuna gritted her teeth against the gentle teasing in Tsukuyomi’s tone. So maybe there was still some playfulness that it was impossible for the psychopath to control. She couldn’t say it was surprising, but if the girl could get any stronger—
“But still…” Tsukuyomi attempted to spin around so that she had a clear shot at Setsuna’s back, but Setsuna ducked and mimicked the spin so they were still facing each other properly. She didn’t like the carnal grin that lit up those eyes.
Tsukuyomi jerked forward, thrusting with her sword and moving to slash her kodachi across Setsuna’s legs. Setsuna blocked with some difficulty, but she still managed to keep from Tsukuyomi getting anywhere close to spilling her blood.
“It’s just not the same. If I didn’t know better, I’d say you didn’t want to fight me. That’s not the right attitude at all, Senpai. “
“I’m not like you, Tsukuyomi. Fighting like this isn’t something I enjoy.” It was something she wanted with a fervor that wasn’t anything approaching proper or healthy, but that didn’t mean she was enjoying it.
A small, happy smile spread across Tsukuyomi’s face and she spun around again, this time trying to shred through Setsuna’s torso with all the subtlety of a wrecking ball instead of attempting to get behind her.
“…Right,” she whispered. She didn’t let up on her attack for even an instant. “You just want to protect her. You’d fight until your last breath to protect her, wouldn’t you?”
“Of course!” That was never even a question.
“So. Protect her from me!”
Suddenly, Tsukuyomi wasn’t there anymore. Setsuna’s eyes widened and she automatically looked over at Konoka. Her body started moving before she even realized that Tsukuyomi was speeding towards her partner.
“Zanmaken Ni no Tachi!”
Maybe it was a little unfair, using that technique. It pretty much guaranteed a hit of some sort. No matter what, Setsuna’s precious Ojou-sama would end up a bloody mess in one way or another. Setsuna could keep the girl alive if she really pushed herself, but not unharmed.
Tsukuyomi thought that she might not really mind if Setsuna didn’t manage to rescue the other girl, but she carefully didn’t dwell on that too much. The point here was to motivate Setsuna, not to kill the girl.
There just might be happy side effects that didn’t involve Setsuna abandoning her hesitance. That was all.
She slashed down with her sword, looking forward to the anguished cries that would exit Konoka’s delectable throat as her blood was scattered to the winds—but mostly awaiting how Setsuna’s fury would show itself. She would not enjoy seeing her precious partner wounded.
Tsukuyomi grinned, thinking only of the pleasure that awaited her—
When her blade hit flesh unexpectedly soon and the hottest, tastiest blood she had ever felt splashed across her face.
Setsuna was standing before her, only inches in front of Konoka.
Tsukuyomi stared, nearly losing her grip on her sword.
Her sword that was gouged a good couple of inches into her Senpai’s left shoulder. The arm was hanging on by a thread.
But the blood—the blood—
Feathers were drifting slowly to the stone floor.
Setsuna’s left wing was sliced almost completely through.
How—that isn’t supposed to be possible. Blocking the Zanmaken Ni no Tachi…
Tsukuyomi felt dizzy. The heat of the blood—of
—was enveloping her.
Setsuna was looking straight at her, a good deal of blood splattered on her cheek. And—
That’s the expression.
That’s the Senpai I want.
“You said… as long as I’m human, I can’t beat you, right?” Setsuna was breathing evenly; it was almost like she hadn’t felt the sword cutting into her wing and flesh. “Well. I’m not. So even if it kills me, I will beat you.”
She’s not… is… could it really work like that?
Shivers of euphoria went up Tsukuyomi’s spine. The whites of Setsuna’s eyes were now pitch-black, and her irises were the deepest shade of gold Tsukuyomi had ever seen.
“And anyone who dares to harm my partner… I
She couldn’t feel her arm. Or her wing. Both were completely numb. Takemikazuchi felt soft in her hand.
With a violent jerk she moved the entire left side of her body so that her artifact crashed into Tsukuyomi’s kodachi, shattering it and the girl’s attempt at blocking in one blow. Her blood splashed across the stone floor.
Tsukuyomi was laughing. The damn girl was
“There we go. Now Senpai… Setsuna-senpai… shall you satisfy me properly?”
Setsuna felt her breathing get heavier. She put away her artifact—she could feel her wing a little now. She would lose too much blood if she kept on fighting with her left arm. And if she had to pick only one weapon, against Tsukuyomi, she needed to use the one she was most familiar with. She retracted her wings, barely noticing the shooting pain that went through her back.
“Set-chan! Are you—!?”
“I’m fine, Kono-chan.” Setsuna spared a second to look back at her partner. She tried to smile, but her facial muscles weren’t working properly. “Don’t worry. No matter what, I’ll protect you.”
She was sure Konoka said something in response to that, but she couldn’t hear it. In her eyes, her opponent was all that was visible. Tsukuyomi and the pure, focused rage she inspired were the only things Setsuna could be aware of.
It was starting up again. Tsukuyomi’s casual, vicious rhythm. Faster this time.
Something was boiling in her blood.
This girl used Shinmeiryuu techniques without a second thought. She never once stopped to consider that she might not have the right to use them. Someone like her…
Setsuna didn’t think much of herself. She was Eishun’s servant—Konoka’s bodyguard and partner. Only the last one implied any true worth.
Without a doubt, she was better than Tsukuyomi.
“Shinmeiryuu Ougi: Zanmaken Ni no Tachi!”
Tsukuyomi felt the most delightful, burning agony tearing across her stomach, splitting her open.
It had been too long since she’d felt it. Too many battles against opponents who didn’t know what they were doing. And in Fate’s case, he preferred not to harm his subordinates.
Blood—her somewhat chilly blood—was spread all across her abdomen.
I wonder if this was her first time doing that.
Tsukuyomi wanted, very badly, to laugh again, but if she did that, the wound would split open so badly that their fight would end prematurely.
This was definitely it.
This glorious rush that only Setsuna could truly inspire in her. She could feel heat all around her—begging for Setsuna’s speedy movements to hurry up and try to slice into her again.
I want her.
I’ll have every inch of her covered in blood before the end of this.
I will take all of her.
Setsuna’s sword met hers again and again, each time clashing hard enough to send sparks hopping across the floor.
More and more blood was spilling down Setsuna’s arm. Trails of it went all the way down to her fingertips, dripping on the floor.
Tsukuyomi’s eyes were starting to glaze over. Her head was going foggy with pleasure.
She was definitely going to win this.
She was going to win against her Senpai when Setsuna was at her best.
She would bathe in that hot blood.
Where next, where next?
Stomach’s good—keeping it even is good.
Setsuna was still thinking properly too. She still looked like she was ready to kill.
Tsukuyomi stepped forward—smiling, and ready to feel her Setsuna-senpai’s blood splashing over her once again.
Of course, for them, nothing could ever be that blissfully simple.
Setsuna really couldn’t say what happened. One second she was aiming to slice through Tsukuyomi’s chest, and the next she was collapsed on the cool floor, blood seeping into the cracks. And light was spilling into the chamber. Where did the light come from?
Her ears were ringing.
I can’t… feel… anything.
Were those… demons?
Tsukuyomi heard a very loud crack as her head smashed into the wall.
Who blew up the room?
She shook her head a few times and tried to stand up. Honestly. What idiot decided that it would be okay to interfere with her duel with Setsuna? She pressed a hand against the wall and pushed herself up.
She collapsed on the floor.
Tsukuyomi blinked and looked at her hand.
Hers or Setsuna’s?
She blinked again. Her hand was moving around very oddly along with the room.
And it was cold. Odd. She was pretty sure she could feel blood dripping down her side and stomach. She shouldn’t be feeling any cold at all.
She tried to stand up again, but for some reason none of her muscles were working properly.
The room was still spinning, too.
She thought she heard someone shouting outside—oh dear. Was that Kurt? That was no good.
Oh… and her vision was starting to go black.
It was over then?
How was that fair?
Moving her head carefully to look around the swimming room, she looked for Setsuna.
Her senpai was trying to push herself off the floor. Her sweet blood was dripping down her forehead and chest. And her arm was still a mess.
Huh. So she got her hit in after all. Not anywhere close to where she was aiming, but a solid shot. Where did her sword go? It would have that delicious blood on it.
Wait… she got her hit in. So did that mean—?
Tsukuyomi looked down.
Yes, she was most definitely hurt. Besides the stomach wound, there seemed to be a very deep cut running from her shoulder down to her leg.
And Setsuna was standing up now. Still bleeding profusely (how lovely was that?), but standing. Alive and relatively well.
Well, that settled that.
Some strange peaceful feeling was settling in her chest, but she ignored it. More black spots were showing up in her vision. And unless she was imagining things, things were exploding at the top of the tower now too.
Konoka was running over to Setsuna now. Tsukuyomi pulled herself up unsteadily.
I think I might owe Fate-han. And Konoka-sama has interfered more than enough.
“Set-chan! It’s okay, I’ll heal you! You’ll be okay!”
Konoka ran over to Setsuna and caught her just before she fell over again. Setsuna blinked blearily at her partner, smiling as much as she could. Somehow the world seemed a lot lighter and cloudier. And just plain better since Tsukuyomi was crushed against a wall.
Though the ringing in her ears didn’t seem to be leaving. Her entire vision was red. Too much blood was running down her face. The only thing keeping her standing was probably Konoka.
Am I… dying?
Explosions. She could hear explosions at the top of the tower.
I’m dead and people are still fighting. Negi-sensei… is stronger than I am. So…
Setsuna took a deep breath and pulled herself as far away from Konoka as her beaten body would allow. “Ojou-sama, don’t! I’m fine—you don’t need to waste your magic on me.”
Konoka’s eyes flashed dangerously. “Set-chan, you’re bleeding too much! I need to heal you before—”
” She didn’t have the energy to argue about this. “Negi-sensei is the one who needs you right now, not me, so—Tsukuyomi what the hell do you think you’re doing?”
Tsukuyomi had somehow managed to get behind Konoka and jab the hilt of her sword into Konoka’s neck. The healer’s eyes widened for an instant before she fell into Setsuna’s arms, unconscious.
Setsuna’s entire body came close to breaking down at the extra weight. As if she really needed another reason to want to kill Tsukuyomi. She glared up at the girl, dearly wishing that her sword was back in her hands. Tsukuyomi was swaying too badly to cause any serious damage, but…
She still hurt Kono-chan.
And I can’t do anything about it.
There was no way. Her body was a wreck. Tsukuyomi enjoyed this type of thing—even if she was worse off than Setsuna, she was still better prepared for a fight.
Tsukuyomi stuck out her tongue.
“Losing… I don’t think it was… part of my contract.” Actually, she didn’t have a contract. Fate had determined the terms of her service verbally. Huh. Too bad she was dying. She would have liked to ask Fate about that. But she was pretty sure he would have preferred her victory. “Even with Kurt-kun… I think I was supposed to win. So… I owe Fate-han. A… healed Negi-kun… since Fate-han… wants to fight him so badly… that would make us even.”
An apology of sorts. He deserved to have a chance to indulge his infatuation.
Setsuna’s glare lost some of its edge. “You didn’t have to be so rough.”
Tsukuyomi laughed, coughing up a great deal of blood. “It… won’t… even bruise.” Well it might. Maybe. She didn’t think she’d be around for Setsuna-senpai to yell at later, so it didn’t really matter.
Troublesome. She almost wished she could stay alive just so she could get her revenge on Kurt for not being a little more subtle about his own fights.
But… this wasn’t a bad ending.
She knelt down on the floor, too tired to keep standing. She looked up at her precious Senpai. A happy peacefulness washed over her.
“Senpai? Try… not to die. You’re… cuter… alive.”
She stayed conscious just long enough to see Setsuna’s eyes widen. Then she let herself fall fully onto the floor.
Yes. This certainly wasn’t a bad death.
Get her to Negi-sensei. Get her to Negi-sensei. Get her to Negi-sensei. I need to get her to Negi-sensei.
Setsuna ran up the tower with Konoka in her arms. Her breathing was uneven and she could feel the blood spilling out of her wounds. She’d tried to bandage them as best she could, but the slashes Tsukuyomi had torn into her body were too deep. She was only delaying the inevitable.
And the running—was not—helping.
Setsuna looked down at Konoka. Her eyes weren’t focusing properly, but she could still see her partner’s face.
Kono-chan… I’m sorry.
Setsuna felt someone wrap their arms around her, keeping her from breaking against the ground. She’d only had enough—only enough to hand Konoka off to Mana.
She was right—Negi was hurt. She’d made the right call. Konoka might be upset about it, but if Negi lost, they would all die. Setsuna wasn’t about to let her friends suffer just because she was too weak to handle Tsukuyomi without getting herself killed.
She was probably close to death right about now.
That—that was—the point, wasn’t it?
Setsuna could still feel it. That all-consuming anger that wanted Tsukuyomi dead.
Was that really appropriate right now?
If Konoka hadn’t been knocked out, she definitely would have healed—
And now she’s bleeding to death at the bottom of a collapsing tower.
Setsuna opened her eyes and tried to focus on the face swimming above her.
It hurts. Lying on the floor and watching your blood fill the cracks…
“Setsuna-kun, you’re going to be all right, I promise.”
Eishun-sama? How is he here?
“I’ve got you, it’s okay.”
“Eishun-sama…” She shouldn’t be asking for favors from her boss. Especially something like this. But…
That girl… damn it.
“There’s a girl… a blonde girl with glasses… at the bottom of the tower… she needs healing… please help her. Please, Eishun-sama… Don’t let her die.”
She didn’t like it. It was different somehow. She didn’t mind killing the girl. But letting her bleed to death all alone… that was wrong.
She didn’t want Tsukuyomi to die like that.
So Setsuna's current mess is all her fault, in case that wasn't clear already.
Sorry for how long this took. I've been sick. And like I said, I fail epically at action scenes. Unfortunately, this bit was somewhat necessary. Ah, and in case there was any confusion, this day is numbered minus 17. So... flashback without blocks of italics.
I'd also like to point out that this is Setsuna and Tsukuyomi's story. That being said, certain details of what other characters were doing were glossed over. Partly because my brain would explode if I had to deal with them, but mostly because while this story is AU in ways that don't deal with the two main characters, that isn't even close to being the focus. ...Yeah.
Ugh, this entire chapter is just full of things I'm not very good at. Sorry.
Thanks for reading.
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