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A Place To Call Home

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EtherealForest's picture
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Joined: 08/07/2010
Posts: 3

I published this a while ago on ff.net but have only just had a chance to go through and proofread it. It's not so much of a Christmas one despite the timing but I hope its NanoFate goodness will be sufficient all the same.

Speaking of which, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all! XD

Time spent together and time pulled apart. This cycle seems to have been the pattern of our lives since we first met. Like two planets rushing closer then pulling away, but always in orbit with the other; ever wishing for a merging but never quite making it. But to one day come together for good was our dream and the promise we made on return from our first TSAB mission apart; that one day when one of us returned the other would be waiting to welcome them home and that someday, when frontline duty was over, we would set up a place of our own where we could be together.

A Place To Call Home

Spoiler:
It was of that promise that Fate's mind dwelled as she pulled up outside Nanoha and Vivio's house late one night, about a year since Section 6 split up; days that carried fond memories, too fond perhaps. She turned the power off and sat, in her black Ferrari, staring at the darkened windows of the house.

What I didn't forsee was how much living together at Section 6 would affect me. Having that future dream and then simply sharing brief moments between missions didn't hurt so much as it was simply a glimpse of the future. But at Section 6 we were living as if we were a couple for a year and may have become an actual one had Vivio not showed up so soon. Be it in her own way she made us more of a couple than before and the parting at the end all the harder. But to pursue our careers first for now is what we agreed on, even if Nanoha's career direction changed along the way.

Since then though it's become harder and harder for me to work on the frontlines, because I've had more than a mere taste of how good living life with her is. That's why I've been working so hard to get there sooner, but it may well be that when Vivio has grown up Nanoha will want to return to the frontline and complete her career, and then we'll never realise our dream till we're old maids.

Stepping out of the car and closing the door she gave a dry chuckle at the image of her and Nanoha together in wheelchairs, it was both amusing and also somehow terrifying.

Could I cope with waiting so long? But we promised.

She sighed and walked up to the door, fingering the keycard in her pocket.

Well such doubts can wait for now. I can't ruin my precious leave time with them.

She removed the key card from her pocket and stared at the picture of Nanoha and Vivio hugging on the back and smiled.

My keycard. The one Nanoha gave me and my passport home.

She swiped the keycard on the scanner by the door and entered quietly to try and avoid waking the inhabitants.

Unless they're not in at all?

Fate started to feel anxious as she stood in the moonlit landing.

I was hoping to surprise her as I wasn't sure if I could get any leave a week ago, but thankfully a couple of days opened up at the last minute. But I guess I should of checked with Nanoha all the same.

She checked the time on the hall clocks luminous hands.

22.02

Nanoha might have already gone to bed, but then again knowing Nanoha's workaholic tendency she might well be working in her study at the rear of the house instead. Instinct guided Fate through the kitchen and around the dining table to the study door. She'd only been in the house a half dozen times but knew her way around as easily as if she'd been there a lifetime.

How many times have I pictured being here whilst on missions? Of living here with her? Even Tea noticed how often I was spacing out on our last mission.

There was a dim light radiating from under the study door; Fate barely contained a wry smile.

From computer panels if I'm not mistaken. She'd better not be pushing herself too hard.

Reaching the door she was about to knock when she heard a faint noise from within. She listened and heard it again. It sounded like a sob. She froze and then softly slid the study door open and stepped inside.

Her ears weren't deceiving her. In front of several computer panels in the narrow, cluttered office room overlooking the rear garden Nanoha was bent over a sleek black desk, with her head resting on her arms and body shaking. As Fate stepped in her head snapped up towards the door in alarm.

"Vivio?" Then her eyes widened as she saw whose silhouette was actually standing there.
"Fate-chan?" her tone was both hopeful and apprehensive as she instinctively wiped at her face with arm. "Is that really you?"

Fate nodded, unsure what to say.

"Nanoha," she finally said in a hushed voice, "what's wrong?"

When Nanoha didn't respond Fate really began to worry. And that tripled when Nanoha's face moved to an attempted smile and she rose with a small shake of her head.

"Silly, nothings wrong. I just had a hard day at the office. How come you’re here?"
Nanoha quickly embraced Fate in a tight hug, her words almost convincing enough to fool even Fate, as she returned the hug.

"I got some leave and thought I'd surprise you, but what happened at work to make you cry?"

"Errr, nothing really. It was just a tough day...Ummm."

Fate pulled away from the embrace and looked Nanoha firmly in the eyes.

"Nanoha, if there's something's upsetting you this much I need you to tell me what it is or else I'll only worry a thousand times more than it's worth."

Nanoha sighed and glanced at the floor and then up at Fate. Her eyes were brimming again but she held back the tears and gave a small nod of her head before moving past Fate towards the door.

"Let's go to the kitchen. We can talk whilst I get you something to eat, but it's really nothing that serious."

"Mmmhmm," Fate said in a tone which dripped with scepticism. "I'd like to hear it all the same."

If there was ever anyone who was a master of downplaying her own troubles it's Nanoha.

"Have you eaten?" Nanoha asked as she switched on the kitchen and dining area lights and moved over to the counter.

Fate shook her head.

"I didn't have time as I was rushing to get here, so I snacked."

"What would you like? We have..." Nanoha began reeling off dishes as she opened various cupboard doors and the fridge. Fate leaned forwards on the counter that separated the kitchen from the dining room and watched her.

Maybe her recollection was wrong but Nanoha looked a paler and thinner than when she saw her last, a couple of months ago. She glanced about the room. It was messy. Be it Nanoha hadn't had any warning to tidy before she came but she began wondering what life was like when she wasn't visiting. It suddenly occurred to her that Nanoha might well be putting on a brave front whenever she called home or came around.

Realising Nanoha had finished and was waiting for an answer Fate picked one of the dishes she'd heard mentioned from Nanoha's spiel and watched as Nanoha started getting down pans and a chopping board, before glancing at Fate with a small smile.

"It'll be about thirty minutes if that's okay?"

Fate nodded.

It feels so right being here, even just watching her chopping up food. And although she's lost some weight her figure is still incredibly beautiful, although for me it’ll always be the warmth about me that's the best thing about it, since I was 9 until now.

But right now Nanoha's tears kept chipping away at her mind like an itch. She had thought of waiting until the food was ready but found the thought of waiting even another few seconds unbearable.

Who or what in the world made Nanoha cry? She seemed fine a few weeks ago when we spoke, but then again it's hard to tell by monitor and especially with her.

"So, what is it that's upsetting you so much Nanoha?"

The chopping slowed considerably.

"It's, it's simply me being silly."

Fate waited but Nanoha didn't go on and continued chopping. Sighing Fate moved round the counter and wrapped her arms around Nanoha's waist.

"And why is Nanoha being silly?"

Nanoha relaxed into the hold as she always did and the chopping slowed to a near stop before starting again.

"It's just that lately I've been feeling a bit down, maybe overworked and so..."

"So?"

"Well sometimes being here alo...I find it overwhelms me a little."

Nanoha had finished chopping and put down the knife but remained resting in Fate's arms.

"It's nothing to worry about," she attempted to finish and began to rise from Fate's hold but Fate kept her arms about Nanoha.

"Nanoha, I've never known you to cry just from being overworked. Is that the real reason you're feeling so down?"

The pause confirmed it wasn't but Nanoha wouldn't respond.

"Is it so secret that you can't trust me with it?" Fate whispered into Nanoha’s right ear and felt Nanoha tremble in her arms.

"Nanoha!"

"I'm sorry Fate. Ever since we came here, but especially recently this house has felt so empty. It hasn't felt like a home at all, and so I get a little lonely at times."

Fate's eyes widened.

"But why didn't you say something? What about Yuuno and Arf?"

Nanoha gave an unhappy laugh that turned out more like a sob.

"I didn't want to worry you with such a minor thing. After all it's my fault I can't stop...or I worry about bringing Vivio up or I feel so low. I mean Yuuno and Arf have been great but they're not living here and besides they could never make this place a home or give me what I need."

Fate felt her own eyes starting to well up as she began to see the picture of life Nanoha had been hiding so well. Of Nanoha on her own late at night when Vivio had gone to bed with no-one around and so pouring herself into working late in her office night after night. And she suspected she knew why Nanoha had been so reluctant to tell her, she'd think that she was betraying her promise to Fate by admitting she was struggling to cope.

"Nanoha, however selfish it is please tell me what it is you need to make this house a home and to make you truly happy."

Nanoha bit her lip.

"You know right?" She pleaded in a whisper. "But we promised, so I'll..."

"Tell me anyway. We can work out the details later. But until I hear what your heart truly wants from your lips I can't help you. What is it you need to make this house a home?"

"You." Nanoha whispered passionately, her face awash with tears. "Always and only you. I haven't been able to stop thinking about you being here for so long now Fate. When I'm alone, when I'm down...The number of times I've read and re-read your messages, and when you said you probably couldn't get leave this time round I felt so down. But this is what we agreed and I can manage somehow."

"Nanoha, I'm so sorry," Fate whispered and felt a tear run down her right cheek, shortly followed by one on her left. "I had no idea. I was so naive thinking that I was the only one who couldn't stop spacing out and longing to be home..."

"Fate."

"...and all the time you've been so brave holding down the fort here alone. I don't deserve someone as good as you."

"You're wrong! I'm the lucky one!"

Nanoha turned and buried her head into Fate's neck as her arms wrapped round Fate. Fate returned the close embrace and then began slowly stroking Nanoha's long brown hair. They stayed like this for a while as Fate pondered and Nanoha sobbed, both basking in the others warmth and closeness long sought.

"Nanoha?"

"Um?"

"Do you honestly think you can manage for just six months more?"

Nanoha nodded.

"I've been working so hard because I wanted to return to you both as soon as possible and there is a way. It should be fine but I'll check tomorrow. And I'll also think of some ways to try and make things easier for you when we’re apart."

Nanoha nodded and pulled away from Fate, who wiped away a stray tear from her cheek. With a far happier smile she said,

"Thanks."

Fate returned the smile,

"My pleasure."

She gave Nanoha a playful bat to the top of her head. "And next time your feeling so down for heavens sake tell me Nanoha. It's selfish to keep your true feelings to yourself."

Nanoha giggled and rapped Fate back.

"I don't want to hear that from someone who didn't tell me she was spacing out on missions."

Fate shrugged and smiled.

"Well I guess it's something I need to work on too."

Her gaze was drawn into Nanoha's bright blue eyes and she felt a dangerous stirring to kiss her on the lips, and saw the same desire reflected in Nanoha's eyes. But neither did for the sake of the other.

Not just yet.

Instead Fate bent down and kissed Nanoha on the forehead as Nanoha had done to her the night of their promise.

"Within 6 months I promise I shall be seeing a lot more of you and Vivio, Nanoha, one way or the other."

"So long as it's nothing stupid," Nanoha said.

"Trust me," whispered Fate, "I've promised so I'll do my very best to make it come true."

Nanoha blushed and spun back to handling the cooking.

"If Fate-chan keeps distracting me then she'll end up with no food."

"Ah, but I thought Nanoha wanted to be distracted?" Fate replied lightly. "Is there something I can be doing to help out?"

Nanoha pointed out where the dishes, cups and cutlery were and quickly the meal came together and disappeared. They spent the night huddled together and catching up.The next few days flew by filled with talks over how to handle Vivio, arrangements made by Fate with the TSAB and Nanoha's friends and day trips out together. All too soon they were hugging and pulling apart again. As they did Fate slipped a small screen into Nanoha's hand.

"This will reach me anytime, anywhere unless I'm actually engaged on a frontline mission, be it with a slight time delay. But if you ever start feeling too low in the next few months ring it okay."

Nanoha's eyes opened wide.

"These are usually only for HQ staff right?"

Fate shrugged.

"I called in a few favours, and you are still the Ace of Aces after all."

Fate found herself wrapped anew in a bear hug.

"Thank you Fate-chan, for everything. Please be safe."

Fate nodded and reluctantly pulled away.

"You too Nanoha and I will. I've promised. Within 6 months I will turn our house into a home."

"Bye Fate-mama," Vivio called with arms outstretched and immediately got swept into a big hug of her own. "Will Fate-mama be gone long?"

"A while sweetheart, but for the last time this time. Then I'll be around much more."
Vivio wrapped her arms around Fate and squeezed tightly.

"S'okay but don't be too long. Nanoha-mama and I miss you."

"Um" Fate managed and only just avoided shedding a tear.

How have I managed to go for so long so far apart from them? Still only a little bit more and it will all be fine.

Then with a smile and a wave to Nanoha and Vivio she had stepped into the black Ferrari and sped off towards the TSAB tower. The planets had split again but this time it felt like the orbiting wouldn't be so endless.

It was with a spring in her step that Nanoha returned with Vivio up the path to their house.

Just 6 months time and I'll be home.

EtherealForest's picture
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Joined: 08/07/2010
Posts: 3

Each of us in our own way battled hard to shape the future for good, for everyone else and someday ourselves. For so long our selfish emotions, that ran so strong, were stilled and muted. But Section 6 awoke them again and set in motion a longing that couldn't be denied. Our paths shifted to new courses for our own dreams could no longer be denied simply for the sake of others. We fought on but down different roads than first planned to create the future we'd dreamt of sooner, until the day arrived that marked the beginning of that realisation.

Wife and Wife

Spoiler:
"And next, receiving special commendation for her efforts and promotion from the frontline troops, Fate Testarossa Harlaown."

Loud applause echoed throughout the chamber welcoming the return of the ship The Adronite and each member of her crew from a gruelling 5 month trip into one of the hardest systems in the galaxy; only those seeking an early rise from frontline duty or who were especially reckless had taken it on. The loudest applause of all came from a smartly dressed brunette in a full length, silken pink dress.

Nanoha was sitting at one of the many tables filling the great HQ amphitheatre along with Chrono, Hayate and Lindy. Yuuno and Arf had stayed behind on Nanoha's home planet to look after Vivio for the night.

"I'm so proud of my Fate-chan," Lindy said happily as Fate received her medal and retreated back to let another member of the crew come forward, her words rather similar to Nanoha's own thoughts:

She worked so hard for this. For both of us. Her position now will give her a lot of weight in the TSAB. A part of me wishes I'd done the same but Vivio was worth the sacrifice. Speaking of Vivio...

"Do you know what Fate is going to do next?" Nanoha asked.

She'd been told to come up here alone by Fate a few weeks ago and on doing so had been shepherded to a table with present company where she'd learnt that Fate was graduating. Since then she'd been itching to ask what Fate was intending to do next, but between catching up and listening to the others banter the ceremony had started and she'd failed to find out. Her patience had limits though, her heart racing at the thought of the promise made just under 6 months ago when she'd waved goodbye to Fate.

'Within 6 months I promise I shall be seeing a lot more of you and Vivio, Nanoha, one way or the other.'

Lindy glanced at Chrono and Hayate conspiratorially; clearly she'd had a fair amount of wine because she wasn't terribly subtle. But Chrono did his best to rectify things,

"Fate hasn't told you herself?"

Nanoha pouted.

"No, but it seems like everyone else here knows."

Hayate chuckled,

"Perhaps you should ask her yourself? She should be here shortly after all."

Nanoha glanced at the empty seat in front of which the placard bearing Fate's name sat, written in elegant black ink. Her heart ached with longing as she glanced at the name and then back at the stage where she could just see Fate's hair amongst the rows of those being promoted or given awards, all wearing the standard brown regimented uniform of the TSAB. Thanks to Fate's planning and the hope of her promise the last five and a half months had been much more bearable. The only time she'd cried was when she'd been had a torrid week and been unable to reach Fate because she was on a mission, but even then Fate had rung back later that night and calmed her down. Her own training of cadets had gone from strength to strength too and she was now head of the training program on Planet 56.

Vivio had also been doing well, although sometimes a handful. She was getting rather too good again at running rings round her on occasion. It was at times like those that she missed Fate a lot, Fate always provided the perfect compliment to Nanoha's parenting in dealing with Vivio, even in the brief snatches of relief from duty or by answering Nanoha's queries. But it wasn't the same as having her about.

The times she missed Fate the most though were late at night when laying in bed alone in her darkened house with only herself for company, imagining Fate's body gently wrapped about her and Fate's breath warming her neck.

And maybe finally even more? Given even Hayate's dating properly, as well as over half my cadets in each batch, I'm starting to feel that I'm missing out somewhat.

"Fleet to Nanoha. Fleet to Nanoha! Is anyone there?" Chrono teased as he waved a hand in front of her face.

Nanoha's face jerked up startled and she laughed as she batted the hand away.

"Mou Chrono, I was just thinking."

"What about?" Hayate queried innocently.

"Hayate!" Nanoha protested before realising that the clapping had ended and a speech had started from one of the senior commanders.

It was, as usual, filled with the normal rambled jargon about pride, courage and the role of the TSAB but was mercifully short for a TSAB ending speech and was duly rewarded with a generous round of applause before the troops filed off the stage.

Soon she'll be here.

Nanoha's heart felt oddly light.

"Just to think she was only a little girl when we first found her," Lindy sighed nostalgically. "And now she's been promoted from the frontline and soon to be...Ow!" She turned a baleful glance upon her son. "Chrono, is that any way to treat..." She finally got the message from Chrono's glare and gasped.

"Soon to be what?" Nanoha asked curiously.

Soon to be made a head of a division? Soon to what?

Lindy laughed nervously and then smiled at Nanoha. "Soon to be in her late 20's, can you believe time has passed so fast?"

It was a clear red herring and Chrono and Hayate were obviously in on whatever it was from their relieved looks, but Nanoha decided to let it go. Instead she found herself thinking back on the moment she met Fate with her beautiful eyes, to saving her only to be parted, to being saved a few years later by the same striking figure standing over her in her tight black outfit and flowing golden hair. Then came the fun of High School, the sadness of leaving home and the exuberant and good times Hayate, Fate and herself had shared in the TSAB training program before they parted ways again and the unexpected anguish this caused; anguish that had led to their promise. Then finally their time together at Section 6 which was her happiest year to date despite the JS incident. So many years and memories in which many people featured often and were fondly remembered, no more so than the cheery fleet commander to her left. But only one spanned the entirety, stood out so prominently and seemed to be at the centre of every single significant and positive moment in her life.

"Fate!"

Nanoha thought for a second it was her subconscious come to life but quickly registered it was Lindy calling out to her daughter and waving over exuberantly. Nanoha suddenly felt unexpectedly shy and found herself unable to look round. This time it felt different to the snatched meetings of the past few years.

A pair of warm and all too familiar hands came to rest on her shoulders and then Fate's voice sounded out happily from behind her.

"Mother, Chrono, Hayate, I'm so glad you all made it tonight."

Nanoha's eyebrow twitched.

Did she miss me out on purpose?

"Wouldn't miss it for the world darling," Lindy gushed. "We're all so proud of you!"

"Mmm good job sis!"

"Congratulations!" Hayate added.

"Thank you everyone." Nanoha could tell Fate was blushing slightly without looking, she was always a little unsure how to deal with praise.

For a while Fate continued to talk with the others across the table with Nanoha a spectator, be it a distracted one as Fate's thumbs were moving in circles and gently massaging her shoulders. Nanoha briefly debated jumping up and hugging Fate but was concerned that trying that in high heels would end in disaster, so she patiently sat listening to the conversation and enjoying the warmth across her shoulders.

A short while later though she noticed Chrono pointing at his watch and felt Fate's left hand lift from her shoulders for a few seconds.

"Ah I'm really sorry to abandon you all but I have a prior engagement to attend tonight, if that's okay?"

It seemed perfectly okay with the rest of the table. Nanoha remained with her mouth slightly open and silently fuming.

She basically ignores me and then blows me off for some prior engagement. Probably with some high flying major or commander now she's been promoted. Always work first. I may as well have watched from home.

Fate's hands lifted from Nanoha's back and she felt Fate move away.

I should so give her a piece of my mind but I don't know what to say. To ignore me like this isn't like her at all. Maybe she's had to take on another mission and can't keep her promise.

"Nanoha, aren't you coming?"

Her head snapped round, missing the excited glances exchanged between her three table companions.

Fate was standing a foot away in her uniform with her blonde hair spilling across her shoulders and an amused smile on her face. As Nanoha turned she held out a hand, that Nanoha took almost automatically and rose.

Pausing Nanoha remembered where she was and looked back at the table. Chrono, Hayate and Lindy all seemed rather amused, although Lindy looked a little wistful too.

"Err is it...?" Nanoha started to ask out of politeness, she was already pretty confident it was and that all of them had known about this from the start.

"Sure it is," Hayate said and Chrono nodded.

"Have fun!" Lindy added joyously.

Nanoha smiled and nodded.

"Okay thanks. I'll speak with you soon I promise."

Fate gave a small tug to indicate they should hurry and so they began making their way out of the large hall, weaving through the maze of guests, shiny black chairs and chrome tables.

"As if I'd have anything more pressing to do than catch up with you on my return," Fate said as they progressed through the large hall with its bright lights, before she bumped against a waitress, staining her top with spilt champagne.

Nanoha giggled once Fate had apologised and moved on.

"I guess being promoted doesn't make one immune from life's smaller problems."

Fate chuckled as well.

"No, nor does it allow one to make it in time to a restaurant. Although I think we do have just enough."

"A restaurant?" Nanoha queried.

"Mmm I booked a table at the Ritsu Sosa to celebrate."

Nanoha's brow creased. The Ritsu Sosa was the top HQ restaurant reserved for the only the most important persona. It seemed a little overboard for Fate to book a table to celebrate her promotion, but perhaps it was also to celebrate the fact that Fate's new job would allow her more time to be at home. She thought about asking what Fate's next job was but it seemed more apt to concentrate at present, given she was wearing high heels, on keeping pace with Fate.

It seemed to take very little time to reach the place, a curving semicircular restaurant with various beautiful scenic views projected against the bending outer wall. It was predictably busy but Fate was shown straight to a two seated table cut off from the rest of the restaurant by head high wooden walls topped with miniature trees and flowers. As the waiter left them standing by the table Nanoha finally found the opportunity to wrap herself tightly about the love of her life.

"Finally you're back!" She whispered happily pressing close and feeling Fate's arms embrace her back. They remained like that for what seemed an eternity but was in fact no more than a handful of seconds. Fate nodded as they drew apart and sat down.

"Yes, I'm back. But I've been re-assigned."

Nanoha froze and stared blankly at Fate.

"Where?" She asked, suddenly nervous and starting to fidget with the ribbon on her dress.

"Would you like to order drinks?" Came the smooth voice of a second waiter. Nanoha's mind was still in disarray and she barely heard Fate order the house red. Once the waiter had left she glanced at Fate fearfully.

Was this meal all done to try and break the news gently to me? That once again we're together only to part?

The air about her tasted bitter.

"Nanoha you remember what I promised right?"

Nanoha nodded, unsure whether Fate bringing that up was a good sign or not.

"Well it was agreed before I left you last time that if I took part in this mission I would be promoted and granted a new position. That of Head of Enforcement..."

Nanoha's mind raced to keep up. Enforcement was essentially the Navy Police, stationed on all the inhabited worlds.

"...on Planet 56. Which means I can live and commute to work from our home."
Nanoha found her body shaking and she let out a relieved laugh.

"Mou Fate, making me worry like that for nothing."

"Sorry," Fate said abashed.

"No I'm just so relieved right now," Nanoha said, her wide eyes connecting with Fate's ruby red ones and sparkling with joy. "Finally I get you to myself."

Fate reached over the table and placed her hands over Nanoha's.

"Forever and ever," she whispered, "or at least as long as you can bear having me around."

"That's at least forever then," Nanoha chuckled back, "and even then I'm not sure that'll be..."

A polite cough and the depositing of a house red with glasses interrupted the moment and for the next few minutes the pair busied themselves ordering food. And the hour and a half after that was spent catching up with the most recent news, of Fate's missions, of Vivio and the training school. An hour and a half wasn't really enough, particularly a food interrupted hour and a half, to cover everything but by the end of the dessert it felt as though the last few hours had lasted as long as the 6 months before.

"You certainly did go all out on the celebrations though," Nanoha added contentedly. "That was the nicest meal I think I've ever had, period."

Fate smiled.

"Well I was, in part, celebrating my coming home for good."

"In part?"

Fate blushed and began fumbling in one of her jacket pockets. Then she slid something into the middle of the table beneath her cupped hands.

"Nanoha." It was the tone Fate said it in that caught the brunette's attention. It was serious and yet also soft and loving. Nanoha felt her body tingling all over in suspense.

"Yes?" She whispered. She couldn't break free of Fate's eyes even if she wanted to, which she didn't as they were mesmerising.

They say the eyes are the window to the soul. If so Fate's soul must be the most beautiful in the Universe.

Fate suddenly seemed to be struggling for air too and took a deep breath.

"You know it's far harder doing this for real," she finally managed. "I'd planned all sorts of speeches but really I'm not sure any of them are any good. I love you Nanoha."

Fate's eyes dropped to her trembling hands and Nanoha's eyes mirrored hers. Fate's hands carefully opened to reveal a crystal box containing two beads of layered aquamarine.

Nanoha could swear time stood still for an eternity as she stared at the box.Never in her wildest dreams had she envisaged this moment would feel so perfect.

"Is that?" She managed.

"Yes. Nanoha will you marry me?"

For the second time in six months Nanoha felt tears flood her face but the difference between the two times was incomparable. She gulped.

"Yes," she managed to gasp, sparing the love of her life further agony brought on at the sight of her crying. "Yes, yes and a thousand, no an eternal number of yes's. Yes!" Her hand moved to the box and opened the silver clasp.

The engagement rings shone proudly, both circles of silver with opal shaped, aquamarine stones layered so that the lighter blue was on the outside and the darker on the inside.

"They're just like the jewel seeds," Nanoha exclaimed. Fate nodded.

"I thought seen as that was the time we first met, the time you saved me and I started living anew, it was the perfect symbol for marking the start of our new journey together."

Fate slid the right ring out and Nanoha held out her left hand. Gently Fate slid the ring onto the fourth digit where it nestled comfortably. Then she brushed away some the tears running down Nanoha's face with her right hand. Nanoha blinked, taking in her left hand and the ring and chuckled.

"God I must look a right fool bursting into tears, but I'm just so happy."

"Hearing you say that couldn't make me happier," Fate whispered. "I'm surprised there's enough space in my chest to contain my own heart at the minute."

Nanoha only had to glance into Fate's eyes for confirmation of Fate's own happiness. Quickly she slipped out the other ring and eased it around Fate's left ring finger to seal their new promise.

"So this explains everything," Nanoha said. "How many people aside from Lindy, Chrono and Hayate know about us?"

Fate nodded. "I was a bit worried about Lindy giving the game away but she had to know. Not least cos she was the one who helped me out with the preparation. But aside from them and possibly their partners Arf and Yuuno know."

"Oh, of course! That's why they were so willing to babysit."

Fate nodded.

"Don't know how exactly we're going to explain this to Vivio though," Nanoha giggled. "She's starting to become remarkably perceptive."

Fate shrugged, tilting her head sideways and smiling,

"I'm sure we'll figure something out, we always do."

Then she glanced at the restaurant clock.

"Shall we head?"

"Okay."

Nanoha had grabbed her bag and stood before the obvious question hit her.

"Where?"

"Home."

"But..."

"Special Clearance. Trust me, I have everything under control."

"Hummm," Nanoha mused.

Fate-chan acting so cool is rather attractive but still...

"Are you sure?"

Fate suddenly looked a little concerned.

"Yes?"

"And yet you haven't complemented my outfit once all evening..."

"But that's..."

"Standard dating etiquette," Nanoha replied, sounding a lot more sure of herself than she was.

Fate paused and took a good long look at the pink dress Nanoha was wearing, from where it drifted about her slender legs, up past the maroon band tying it against her hips to the shimmering horizontally lined cut off with its dark pink shoulder straps set against Nanoha’s smooth, pale skin.

"You look stunning," Fate finally managed in awe. Nanoha blushed.

"Like I'd believe that now," she managed to muster as they left the booth but even to her, her comment sounded half-hearted.

Well I guess with all the effort she's put in she's entitled to win tonight. It might actually be the only time I don't mind losing.

They made their way to the transportation room and were beamed via a couple of portals to the HQ at Planet 56. There they made a swift descent to the front of the building and waited under the concrete porch facing the run off road beyond. Fate's plans may have gone well to that point but the weather itself had clearly failed to read the script as a sheet of rain greeted them as they exited the building combined with a freezing wind. Nanoha clutched onto Fate tightly as they waited for Fate's car to arrive.

Trust the weather to rain hard tonight of all nights. Five days in every seven it's sunny but when it rains here it really does try hard. But it does give me a perfectly valid excuse for holding onto my lover. Lover. Before when I said it to myself it meant so little because we kept deferring until the future. Now it feels wholesome and warm. I know there'll be arguments and problems; our time at Section 6 taught us that much at least. But it also taught us that in the end we could always overcome them together. And when I think back on my life to date all I can really see is her, from the time we first met.

Nanoha glanced at her ring that shone against Fate's jacket.

So beautiful, warm, strong, loving, kind; there aren't enough adjectives to describe her. To think what would have happened if I hadn't been there at the start.

"What are you thinking about?" Fate asked, breaking into Nanoha's monologue.

"Just how glad I am that I was able to reach you back then, because without you my whole life would have been so emptified."

Fate said nothing but her arm wrapped a little tighter about Nanoha’s waist and glancing up Nanoha spied a tear rolling down Fate's cheek. Acting on instinct she moved up and kissed it away, before realising just how close that brought them.

"A...tear...kissed it away," Nanoha managed before realising there was no need to be embarrassed or to hold back anymore. So instead, as the rain hissed down from the dark grey sky above and puddles glowed orange under street lighting, she wrapped her arms about Fate's neck and kissed her on the lips.

It was only a brief kiss and Nanoha realised quite quickly that one’s nose is something of an obstacle, but it was nonetheless their first proper kiss. One that they had waited for, for so very long. It would have become one of many had a cough not interrupted their embrace.

Spinning round they came face to face with a young female chauffer with a face almost as red as their own. She had green highlighted hair and carried a dark black umbrella, just beyond her stood Fate's car.

"Your car is ready Captain Harlaown." Her voice was carefully neutral. Fate managed a nod and Nanoha, who had recovered the faster of the two and recognised the girl, added brightly,

"Thank you Aoi-san."

The girl nodded, her eyes briefly darting back and forth between them and widening as she saw the rings, before turning and holding the large umbrella up so that Fate and Nanoha could squeeze beneath it. Then she walked over to the car where she opened the front passenger door for Nanoha and then moved around the car to let Fate into the drivers seat. Fate's door clicked shut and Fate started the engine, Aoi disappearing into the curtain of rain.

"Ah well the whole base will know within a week now," Nanoha said laughing. "Aoi-sans face was a picture."

Fate sighed as she drove onto the main highway. "And there I was hoping for a quiet start to life here."

"Sorry, but you know I simply couldn't help myself."

Fate's mouth twitched slightly in remembrance before she voiced a new concern.
"Guess we really are going to have to tell Vivio something tomorrow then."

Nanoha groaned.

"Fine, baggsy that's not me."

Fate sighed, "Fine, fine, I'll think of something I'm sure."

All too soon they'd reached the familiar residential area where Nanoha had lived for the past year and a half and were braking to a gentle halt outside the front garden. Sadly the rain hadn't yet abated and quickly flooded the front window once the wipers switched off.

"Ah well, can't be helped," Fate said. "Wait there."

She hopped out of her door and dashed round to Nanoha's side where she opened Nanoha's door. Before Nanoha could step out though Fate had leaned in and slid her hands under Nanoha's knees and waist.

"Hup!" Fate said and hoisted a startled Nanoha up and out of the car before kicking the door shut and dashing up the path through the pouring rain.

"Fate?"

"It's sorta traditional," Fate mumbled. "And I kinda wanted to do it."

They reached the door and stopped.

"Oh!" Fate realised the flaw in her plan at exactly the same time as Nanoha.

"All going to plan?" Nanoha asked playfully as she searched for her keycard in her bag.

"Hmph."

It took Nanoha a few minutes to find the keycard by which time the rain had soaked them completely, but finally she swiped the door open allowing Fate to stumble in across the threshold with her and set her on her feet; both of their outfits were completely ruined.

"Was it worth it?" Nanoha asked in amusement and Fate nodded, blushing.

"Well when Lindy suggested it I kinda wanted to try carrying my bride to be over the threshold into our new home. But maybe it was a little silly. Mmmph!"

Her words were cut off by Nanoha's lips which remained pressed against hers for far longer this time. Pulling away Nanoha added,

"Sometimes you know you are just too adorable. I can't believe I've managed to wait until today to properly kiss you y'know." She had the added satisfaction of seeing Fate off balance for once that evening. "Kay, shower and bed I think. I baggsy first shower."

"Okay," Fate said as Nanoha darted upstairs. She wasn't too disappointed seen as she hadn't been here in nearly six months and so spent the next fifteen minutes wandering around in her underwear exploring what changes had occurred from before, until Nanoha called to let her know the shower was free.

On emerging from the shower in a towel she entered their bedroom to find Nanoha already tucked up in bed, her eyes mischievously taking in Fate's figure. Fate blushed as her own eyes took in Nanoha's glance.

"I really am the luckiest girl in the world," Nanoha sighed happily as Fate glanced about. "What are you looking for?"

"Pyjamas," Fate stated, bemused.

"Oh, we're wearing them tonight?"

Fate turned bright red and glanced at the bed again. Then she nodded and said,
"Lights Off!" Before slipping into her side of the double bed, leaving the towel on the floor.

"So bold," Nanoha whispered as she moved over to kiss Fate, her pyjamas brushing against Fate's skin.

"What!" Fate exclaimed and Nanoha giggled.

"Well I won't say no to you removing them..."
________________________________________

The following day saw the return of Vivio to the house. Thankfully for Nanoha, Fate was on hand to explain things.

"So Vivio, when a woman loves a person very much and wants to stay with them all their life she becomes their wife."

"So Fate-mama is going to become Nanoha-mama's wife?" Fate considered this for a second and then nodded.

"And Nanoha-mama is going to become Fate-mama's wife?" Fate nodded again.

"Then you'll be wife and wife!" Vivio declared proudly. Fate glanced at Nanoha and they both broke into a fit of giggles.

"I like it," Nanoha said as she gripped Fate's hand and turned her head towards Fate, "what do you think my soon to be wife?"

"I like it too, my wife to be."

They shared a quick kiss.

"Why did you do that?" Vivio asked curiously, staring at them. Fate glanced at Nanoha and grinned,

"Your turn to explain..."

Alicia Edit: Put them both in spoilers to save space ^.^

Shari-chan
Shari-chan's picture

Both sories are great. But Wife and Wife story is sooo adorable ^_^
Thank you for sharing them with us :)

langrisser's picture
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Joined: 08/22/2009
Posts: 1382

I remember this story, it's a very sweet one. :3

A.
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Joined: 08/14/2009
Posts: 3783

Oh, I remember this fic, it was pretty good :D The second part was very adorable.

I hope to see more fics from you, and maybe more of you around here too~

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A. wrote:
Oh, I remember this fic, it was pretty good :D The second part was very adorable.

I hope to see more fics from you, and maybe more of you around here too~

Lolz yeah, I remeber getting scolded for putting Vivi and not Vivio, but also being directed here too :D

Ah and being told to read Vivid, but aside from a few glimpses in the earlier Chapters its pretty limited NanoxFate wise and then becomes a pretty dire battle manga centred on Vivio. The shower scene was a pretty good endorsement of their relationship though :)

Kasirganin Forveti's picture
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Joined: 08/25/2010
Posts: 102

Heh, remember this one. It's nice and it would be even nicer if you write more fan fiction(if you want, of course).
Also, yay! More Lindy!