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Join Date: Dec 2009
New chapter from me. Finally.
Tsukuyomi had always been aware of the emotion in one way or another—it was everywhere; in the way comrades looked at each other before they broke and started begging for their lives; in the way partners swore their eternal loyalty to their masters, and they swore it right back… And always, always in the way bodyguards leapt in front of their charge, risking everything so that the person they valued could have one more moment to breathe.
Luna was in love with Negi. All of Fate’s partners loved him—even with him gone.
Love made people stupid. Most emotions caused people trouble of some sort, but love… Luna never would have helped Negi if she didn’t care for him, and the devotion of Fate’s partners could have easily gotten them killed.
From a professional standpoint, it was very clearly a bad thing.
Very, very clearly.
Tsukuyomi flopped down on Setsuna’s nest.
Their relationship wasn’t exactly professional, was it?
Since she had somehow managed to fall in love with Setsuna, she should probably start categorizing their relationship as personal.
Love was supposed to be good for personal relationships, right?
Tsukuyomi frowned up at the bloodless ceiling. She was sure that somewhere, a Fate with the ability to appreciate humor was laughing at her because of their role reversal. Teasing him about his infatuation with Negi and budding humanity had been so fun at the time…
And she couldn’t even resent Setsuna for it. She’d tried that.
Somehow, as much as she hated knowing there was someone in the world that she absolutely could not kill… It almost seemed okay because it was Setsuna. Her stubborn, serious, easily-embarrassed Senpai who managed to give her the pleasure of a lifetime every time they touched.
But there was still the problem of
to kill Setsuna. Ignoring everything else, Setsuna was still the best opponent she’d ever had, and every fiber of her being wanted to fight her senpai again and feel that burning blood on her face.
And really, all of that was fine and glorious—except—
Setsuna—really was cuter alive. Breathing. Talking. On very rare occasions, smiling.
So what to do?
Escape was really the best solution. Once she got out of Mahora, she’d be free to kill whoever she wanted, so she wouldn’t have so much trouble when she was around Setsuna. Theoretically. If she was going to be honest, Tsukuyomi had to admit that when she touched her Senpai, it wasn’t just being close enough to kill Setsuna that got her blood boiling. Now that she could name why, that was uncomfortably obvious.
Tsukuyomi reached back and fluffed Setsuna’s pillow. Being free to slaughter as she pleased again sounded exquisite, but there was still the problem of not being around Setsuna.
Love was an annoying emotion.
Maybe, if the princess didn’t have to be involved… if no one knew that she was free, she could stay at Mahora and sneak out and kill things when Setsuna wasn’t looking. But as long as the princess was involved, the second her Seal broke, if she didn’t want it back, she’d have to leave immediately.
The door to the room creaked open and Tsukuyomi sat up, waiting to hear Setsuna’s mechanical complaint about her resting on the wrong bed.
Only it wasn’t Setsuna.
Tsukuyomi smiled. “Good afternoon, Gunslinger-onee-san!”
Mana shut the door behind her and nodded on her way to the beds. “Tsukuyomi. Enjoying yourself in here?”
“Not particularly. You and Senpai locked up all of your fun toys, so there’s nothing to do.” Not to mention Setsuna banning her from touching any pens or pencils. Explaining that to the Class Rep was fun. They dodged the issues as long as they could, but then Negi got dragged into the mess and Setsuna had to convince him to tell the Class Rep that Tsukuyomi couldn’t use writing utensils for health reasons.
“What are you doing here?”
Mana raised her eyebrows. “This is my room too. Just because I prefer to sleep elsewhere doesn’t mean I’m not allowed to be here.”
“But why would you want to be here?” Tsukuyomi was convinced that this had to be the most boring room in all of Mahora when Setsuna wasn’t around.
The gunslinger dragged one of the locked boxes out from under the bed. “The headmaster has requested that I take care of something for him. I’m running low on supplies since you’ve deprived me of Setsuna, so I get to restock here.”
Tsukuyomi got up from Setsuna’s nest and watched Mana unlock the box with interest. “What exactly is in there?”
“Nothing you’re allowed to touch.”
“That’s a negative way of looking at it.”
Mana removed the lock and took out a gun from—somewhere—to point it in between Tsukuyomi’s eyes. “Okay then. How about this? If you look or touch anything in the box while I have it out, I’ll make it so that you are utterly incapable of either action again.”
Tsukuyomi flopped back down on Setsuna’s nest with an irritated huff. “You’re no fun, Onee-san.”
“I try,” Mana said, opening the box while keeping her gun trained on Tsukuyomi.
Tsukuyomi watched her fellow mercenary work through the mysterious contents of the box for a few moments. Some of the noises coming from it sounded promising, but she doubted that the gunslinger would let her live long enough to use anything she found.
She should have tried using the pencil to pick the locks when she had the chance. At least with a weapon, she wouldn’t be bored.
Setsuna would probably catch her and confiscate it pretty quickly though.
“Have you ever been in love?”
The noises stopped for a second. “You and Setsuna really need to learn how to fix your relationship issues without involving me.”
Tsukuyomi shrugged and waited patiently for Mana to continue.
The girl sighed and turned around, her gun still not moving an inch. “I have.”
She chuckled. “And what? I was fortunate enough to be in the unique position of not wanting to kill the person I loved, but there’s a reason it isn’t encouraged in our profession.”
Tsukuyomi propped herself up on her hands. “You’re being astoundingly unhelpful.”
Mana laughed and went back to clinking things together in the box. “I’m only being honest with you. I thought you preferred people like that?” She seemed to find what she was looking for; the noises stopped and she stuffed something that Tsukuyomi couldn’t quite see into her bag. In several quick motions, the gunslinger had the box once again locked (unfortunately) and under the bed.
She stood up and looked at Tsukuyomi with a silent, considering expression that reminded her quite a bit of Fate. “What are you going to do about it?”
Tsukuyomi frowned. “What do you mean?”
“Well, if, for instance, you were to decide that the inconvenience of the emotion was too much to handle and you’re better off killing Setsuna, I’d have to take certain precautions to make sure she lives past the semester.” Mana cocked her gun threateningly. Tsukuyomi rolled her eyes and pouted. They both knew she was basically useless right now.
“And if you’ve decided to try seducing her, I need to immediately discourage you.”
“I actually hadn’t thought that far ahead.” She kept getting stuck on the “can’t kill” dilemma. Now that she thought of it however… If she could touch Setsuna without wanting to kill her, she certainly wouldn’t mind touching Setsuna—everywhere. She’d had that body under hers before, after all—she knew exactly how that blazing heat and soft skin felt. For a fighter, Setsuna really did have a delicate body…
Mana rolled her eyes. “Because as inept as you are with intense emotions, Setsuna is worse. She is not going to handle any confession well, especially since the two of you just barely got over your urges to kill one another.”
“We’re not really over them—we just can’t do anything about it,” Tsukuyomi pointed out. “Setsuna-senpai’s too honorable to hurt me when all of my energy’s sealed up, and I don’t want to fight her when I’m like this.” Not that she was going to explain what “this” was. The gunslinger did not need to know that she was incapable of killing Setsuna for reasons beyond a simple lack of ki.
“Of course,” Mana murmured. “Fine then—you’ve both just gotten used to restraining yourselves. I doubt that restraint will last long if you bring up your feelings.”
So if she ever wanted to fight with Setsuna properly after she broke the Seal, she’d only have to say that she loved her. That still didn’t solve the killing problem, but it was very good to know. It wasn’t like this would—last—
Unless it did.
Tsukuyomi tried, for a moment, to imagine sometime in the future when she was free of the Seal; free to deal Setsuna as much damage as she wanted to. There would be absolutely nothing holding her back except her own will.
But even then… It was Senpai.
Could it really be like that? Could I really just…
in love with her?
An odd fluttering feeling in her stomach seemed to agree with that thought.
“Now if you don’t mind,” Mana said, “I’d like to finish up my work before we’re supposed to be in class. Try to behave yourself.” Finally putting her gun away, Tsukuyomi’s typically absent roommate walked out of the room.
Tsukuyomi groaned and threw her head back on Setsuna’s pillow. She missed things being simple.
“What does sucking someone’s blood feel like?”
All things considered, that probably wasn’t the best way to phrase her question, but considering the look on Evangeline’s face, Setsuna figured that she had to at least say something before she got kicked out of the resort.
And it did get Evangeline to stop glaring at her.
The diminutive vampire wiped her mouth clean of the tea Setsuna’s poorly-timed question had nearly made her choke on.
“What,” she asked, “does someone like you need to know that for?”
Setsuna swallowed nervously. “Uh… I was just wondering… You’d be more sensitive to it, since you’re a vampire, so if anyone was going to know about why someone reacts to blood a certain way…” Setsuna trailed off, starting to think she’d be better off if she just tattooed ‘HELP’ to her forehead.
Evangeline stared at Setsuna, clearly unimpressed.
“Having fun with your girlfriend, are you?”
my girlfriend!” Setsuna yelped defensively. She could feel her face burning at the very idea.
Evangeline rolled her eyes. “Fine. Is your homicidal roommate teaching you the finer things in life?”
Face still much redder than was probably healthy, Setsuna didn’t think her glare was anything approaching threatening. If anything, Evangeline’s smirk grew more pronounced. Trying to regain what little dignity she could have around the vampire, Setsuna cleared her throat and stood up straight.
“There was an… incident a few days ago. A, um, hobby of Tsukuyomi’s got out of hand. I was wondering… if there was something I could do to help, I could make sure something like that won’t happen again.”
Oddly enough, Evangeline’s amusement vanished at that. “And this hobby of hers is related to blood, is it?”
Evangeline spun her half-empty teacup around on her finger silently. Setsuna watched its progress nervously, wondering if the cup was going to be flung in her general direction for wasting the Dark Evangel’s time.
Then Evangeline abruptly stopped handling the teacup and tossed it back on the table, the remaining liquid barely splashing over the side. “Have you lost your mind, Sakurazaki?”
The question was asked so casually that Setsuna could almost fool herself into thinking that she hadn’t made an enormous mistake in staying behind in the resort—with no witnesses—to ask for Evangeline’s help.
“No,” Setsuna said, feeling very unconvincing.
Evangeline laughed. “No, of course not. You just think that if you understand her—if you can somehow apply logic to her actions—you can keep her from causing you trouble. Not a bad theory, but it has one glaring problem that you’ve managed to overlook.”
“The girl is insane.” Evangeline took a long sip of tea and handed the cup off to one of Chachamaru’s sisters. “Even if I could give you some reason—some excuse for her behavior, it wouldn’t change anything. She’d still be a psychotic mess. The Ouroboros Seal is the only reason she hasn’t gone on a killing spree already, and you know it.”
Setsuna winced and tried to go back to the original topic. “Evangeline-san, could you just tell me if you’ve ever heard of someone who feels blood purely as heat? Even when nothing else feels warm to them?”
There, that was what she should have asked in the first place.
“Huh. You’re sure that’s how it works for her?”
“I think so.” Setsuna had been paying very close attention to Tsukuyomi over the last few days, especially the way the girl shivered in her sleep, and putting that together with some of the things the blonde said, it made sense. She just didn’t know how it worked.
Evangeline watched Setsuna for a few moments before snickering quietly. “So that’s why you’re so interested. Feeling a tad guilty about your request now? If you had just let her go off with Eishun in the first place, it wouldn’t be a problem.”
Setsuna looked down at her feet guiltily. “I don’t—I don’t think it’s
“Probably not, but you certainly didn’t help matters.”
you heard of anyone with that problem before?”
Evangeline shrugged. “No. But then, I don’t make a habit of associating with bloodthirsty lunatics.”
So this had all been for nothing? Setsuna sighed. Great. She had thought if anyone would know about it, it would be Evangeline.
“There’s always the obvious explanation you know.”
Setsuna’s head shot up. “What’s that?”
“She’s crazy,” Evangeline said in a tone that was clearly questioning Setsuna’s sanity at this point. “There’s nothing wrong with her; that’s just how her head works.”
Setsuna bit her lip. Yes, there was always that possibility. That incredibly unhelpful possibility that didn’t give her any idea what she was supposed to do. She couldn’t just leave things like that; if nothing else, Tsukuyomi’s chronic shivering problem was starting to concern her.
And the option of occasionally giving Tsukuyomi a weapon to mutilate herself with was not something she wanted to seriously consider.
She sighed. “Thanks for the help, Evangeline-san.”
The vampire waved her off. “Sure.”
Setsuna bowed her head respectfully and started off towards the resort’s exit, feeling considerably more lost than when she’d started her conversation with Evangeline.
The half-demon turned back around hopefully. “Yes?”
Evangeline was smirking again, her fangs standing out prominently. “You could always just let her have her killing spree. That would fix both your problems, wouldn’t it?”
Tsukuyomi would have dearly loved to ask what had put Setsuna in such a bad mood. Ever since coming back from training with her friends, her Senpai had seemed overly preoccupied with something that was making her frown a lot more than usual.
Normally, she would have harassed Setsuna into giving her an explanation, but she’d had her fill of complicated conversations today. Also, a distracted Setsuna was much easier to stare at than one paying full attention to her charge. In general, Setsuna didn’t tend to be appreciative of her staring.
So maybe she was paying a little attention, even if she was still staring at the floor with the most frustrated expression on her face. Tsukuyomi sat up in her bed, dangling her legs over the side. “Yes, Setsuna-senpai?”
Setsuna pulled at a thread sticking out of her nest and didn’t say anything for several moments. Then she turned her aggravated eyes on the ceiling. “You would have escaped weeks ago if Eishun-sama took custody of you, right?”
Tsukuyomi tilted her head to one side, considering the question. She’d never actually been in the Kansai Magic Association’s cells. She was very careful about not getting caught; she was only at Mahora because she should have died. If they hadn’t bothered healing her, she definitely wouldn’t be anyone’s prisoner.
Kotarou had managed to escape easily enough, hadn’t he?
“Probably,” Tsukuyomi answered. “Why?”
Setsuna didn’t respond immediately. She was still playing with the thread. Tsukuyomi watched her curiously, wishing her Senpai would pay her a little more attention at this point. Talking to someone who wouldn’t even look at her wasn’t interesting at all, even if it was Setsuna.
“I’m going to bed,” she muttered at last, standing up and walking over to the closet.
“Isn’t it a little early for you?” Normally they went to bed at the same time, and Tsukuyomi didn’t think she’d be trying to sleep for at least an hour.
Setsuna didn’t bother answering. She just quickly and quietly changed her clothes, taking care to keep most of her skin hidden from view. Tsukuyomi smiled a little at the attempted modesty. It really was cute that Setsuna still wasn’t comfortable with undressing in front of her. Not as cute as Setsuna unclothed but for now she’d take it.
Soon enough, the lights were off and Setsuna was curled up under her sheets.
Tsukuyomi mimicked her and stared up at the bottom of the top bunk, sighing when she realized she was counting the cracks in the wood. She really needed to make more progress with the princess so she could break the Seal. Her life when Setsuna was unconscious or otherwise not present was incredibly dull.
She looked over fondly at the other girl. The lines of Setsuna’s unhappy glare were finally evening out. She was almost looking peaceful.
Tsukuyomi smiled. “Good night, Setsuna-senpai,” she murmured. “Try not to sleep too badly.”
With that, she closed her eyes and gave up trying to pay any more attention to her very, very dull reality. Then, for some reason, the world tilted and became much more interesting, making her eyes snap open.
“Good night, Tsukuyomi.”
Needless to say, this took forever to update. Sorry about that. School started, my health is less than stellar, and this chapter was just plain difficult to write.
Next chapter probably won't be the easiest either, since it's a little weird. However, unlike with this chapter, I know how it's supposed to end before I start it. With any luck that'll help, and it'll be up soon.
Thanks for reading!
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