Story: After A's, Before StrikerS (chapter 1)

Authors: Shanejayell

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Chapter 1

Disclaimer: I own one of the characters from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha, I'm only borrowing them for a while. Also, I have NOT seen StrikerS, just read the manga, so if I get something wrong let me know.

Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha: After A's, Before Strikers

The sixteen year old reddish-brown haired young woman hurried home from school, her heart racing joyfully. "I'm home!" Nanoha Takamachi called out, her long ponytail bouncing against her back as she hurried in, taking off her shoes at the door.

"Welcome home," her sister Miyuki called, her tied back brown hair giving her a almost boyishly handsome look. "Is today the big day?" she asked.

Nanoha blushed slightly as she said, "Yes, we're meeting there later this evening." She walked over, giving her sister a concerned look as she asked her, "Are mom and dad still okay with this?"

Miyuki smiled back at her comfortingly, "Trust me, they're fine. It was really less of a surprise than when you revealed your magic to them."

Nanoha laughed softly, remembering her, Lindy Harlaown and Fate sitting in the living room with the family explaining about magic and the Time-Space Administration Bureau. Their parents had taken it surprisingly well, occasionally making Nanoha wonder about what they did before they had her.

"All right," Nanoha turned and hurried up the stairs as she called, "then I'd better start getting ready."

Part of Nanoha was tempted to dress in a variation on what she had first worn when they met, but she decided on something a bit more mature. She picked out a nice white skirt and matching jacket, wearing a rose shirt under that. After a moment's hesitation she picked up Raging Heart on it's special chain and hung it around her neck. She didn't expect to need it, but she wanted to be ready.

"When should I tell them you'll be back?" Miyuki asked, smiling as Nanoha hurried back down stairs.

Nanoha paused at the door as she slipped a set of dress shoes on. "Not till later," she said with a smile, "I'll phone if I'm really late."

"Have fun," Miyuki nodded as Nanoha left. Quietly she murmured to herself, "Looks like my little sister is all grown up."


Meanwhile, the nightclub Arisugawa's Locket was already jumping. A line up of young women waited , talking together and gathering together in the spring chill. Signum Needes looked cool and composed in a simple pants and jacket combo, her pink hair flowing down over her shoulders in a ponytail. Beside her Shamal smiled in her long dress, her blonde hair framing kind eyes as she talked to Ishida, the other woman casually standing close by. Not far away Hayate Yagami and Vita talked, both young women laughing softly. The three Wolkenritter covertly positioned themselves to guard Hayate and Ishida, though a casual observer might not have noticed.

"I still find all of it hard to accept," Ishida admitted as they continued their conversation, "thought learning about the magic explained a great deal." She gave all of them a scolding look and added, "Like why medicine wouldn't help Hayate."

"It's not all their fault," Hayate spoke up for them, her brown hair falling into her large eyes, "they didn't know my illness was caused by the book."

Shamal put her hand on Ishida's shoulder as she smiled at her warmly, "And if it hadn't been for that we'd never have met."

Ishida blushed under her loving gaze even as Vita rolled her eyes. "Mushy stuff," the little girl muttered under her breath, shaking her head as her red braid bounced. "Too bad Zafira can't come," she added.

"I understand men are forbidden here," Signum noted coolly, looking around them at the many women warily. Around her neck her sword amulet dangled, much like the ones her comrades Shamal and Vita had.

"I'm looking forward to this," Hayate agreed, a smile teasing her lips. There was a interesting aura between her and her three knights, a sense of tenderness and caring. She poked Signum lightly, "You could relax a bit."

Signum gave her a amused look, "This is me relaxed."

A redheaded woman stood by the door, checking identification with a cheerful smile. Midori Sugiura nodded to the group of them, looking them over. She frowned at Hayate and Vita, "Can I see your IDs?"

"I'm immortal," Vita grumbled with a sigh, "and I'll get carded forever."

Hayate nodded to Midori as she explained, "I'm underage, but I'm being escorted by my friends." Wryly she added, "I'm sure they have no intention of letting me drink."

"You may be our master," Shamal noted with a smile, "but drinking is very bad for someone your age."

"Exactly," Ishida agreed.

After going down a short hallway they were met by a smiling young woman "Welcome to Arisugawa's Locket," Alpha smiled, the green haired coffee shop owner having taken up greeting duties that day.


Meanwhile, in a apartment in another part of Tokyo a blonde haired woman fretted as she turned back and forth in front of the mirror. "Does this look good, Bardiche?" Fate Testarossa Harlaown finally asked, looking as her black pants and jacket, all trimmed in gold.

"You look fine, Sir," Bardiche answered with his usual formality, the triangle shaped device sitting on the dresser nearby. While his voice was as calm and even as normal, there was a bit of bemusement in his voice, too. Clearly, it was a new experience for the intelligent device to be asked for fashion advice.

"You'll knock 'em dead," Aruf added cheerfully, the red furred puppy laying comfortably on Fate's bed. She also sounded rather amused at seeing this more hesitant side of Fate, though also just a bit sad too.

"They're right," the other woman's voice noted, her tone kind. A startled Fate turned to see Lindy Harlaown looking at her with a slight smile, the green haired woman adding, "I came up to remind you it's nearly time to go."

"Thank you, Mother" Fate said with a little blush as she picked up Bardiche and put it in a inner pocket of her jacket.

Lindy walked over to put a comforting hand on Fate's shoulder as she said, "You really don't need to be nervous, Fate."

Fate gave her adopted mother a sad smile as she explained, "After Nanoha got hurt, I realized I needed to let her know how I feel." She sighed as she added, "But this is our first date, and I'm terrified it won't go well..."

Lindy surprised her with a hug, then let her go. "She loves you," she told Fate firmly, "it'll be all right."

Fate blushed then she quickly hugged Lindy back. "Thank you," she said then turned to the door, "and I'd better get going."

"Good luck," Lindy called as Fate went outside, activated Bardiche and soared off into the evening sky. "You two belong together," Lindy murmured to herself as she closed the door, "though it took you long enough to realize it."

"She's a bit slow that way," Aruf agreed with a sigh. She looked up at Lindy, "Wanna get the usual suspects together for cards?"

"Why not?" Lindy laughed, her and the puppy heading out to the livingroom together.


At almost the same time Nanoha smiled as she hurried up to the bar, coming up behind another of her close friends, both in and out of school. Suzuka Tsukimura turned, her purple hair shining as she hugged Nanaho and said, "I thought you'd never get here."

"Sorry," Nanaho chuckled, "I tried to hurry but I didn't want to use magic to get here." She looked a bit nervous, "Is Fate here?"

Suzuka looked up, her eyes widening as she said, "I think that's her now."

Shimmering gold wings glowed on Fate's boots as she descended from the sky, her expression rather sheepish as she landed out of sight nearby. "Sorry," she said as she hurried out of the alley, the wings disappearing and Bardiche's scythe mode reverting to a amulet.

"I thought we weren't going to use magic," Nanoha scolded even as she rushed to hug Fate close to her.

Fate let her arms wrap around Nanoha, holding her close tenderly even as she felt the love she carried for her well up from deep inside. "Sorry," she repeated with a lopsided smile.

Suzuka laughed softly as she said, "You two are making a scene." She smiled as she gently added, "Can we please head inside?"

"Lets," Nanoha agreed, keeping a arm around Fate.

Within the bar women chatted and danced together happily, swaying to the pounding beat of the music. Off to one side of the most unusual bar the library was filled with people reading and talking, while up at the main bar women vied for the attention of the bartenders and posed prettily for each other.

Hitomi smiled as the brown haired part time waitress lead the three to the table their friends were at. "I hope you'll have a good time," she said warmly, "just signal a waitress if you need anything."

"Thank you," Fate nodded happily.

"Suzuka," Hayate cried as she looked up happily, getting up to draw the other woman close to her. They kissed a bit shyly under the other's gazes, then Suzuka drew her close, kissing her a bit more eagerly.

"I've missed you," Suzuka sighed happily as they finally parted.

Hayate blushed a bit, her gaze tender and loving. "I'm sorry my work has been keeping me away," she apologized as they all sat down.

Suzuka put her hand over Hayate's, squeezing it softly. "I understand, Hayate, believe me," she said softly.

"It's hard to believe this started from a few library meetings," Signum noted as they greeted their friends.

"Thanks for saving us a table," Nanoha said, sitting down beside Fate on one end, the couple of Shamal and Ishida, Vita and Signum then Hayate and Suzuka.

They talked happily and ate eagerly, drinking cautiously and taking turns to get up and go out on the dance floor. Shamal and Ishida swayed together gracefully while Suzuka and Hayate danced more energetically. Surprisingly Signum was approached by several ladies and danced, even as Vita scowled in her seat.

"It's size discrimination," Vita growled irritably, crossing her arms over her chest.

Signum patted her on the shoulder as she wryly suggested, "You could always use disguise magic."


Meanwhile, back at the ranch Yuuno Scrya rather desperately looked at his cards. "I'll take a card?" the brown haired boy sighed.

"Here you go," Aruf smiled, now in her busty redheaded form.

Zafira frowned as he studied Aruf and Lindy. "What am I doing here?" the heavily muscled blue haired man sighed.

"Because short of a sex change you weren't getting in there?" Lindy offered as she drew a card. She brightened noticeably, "I raise."

"Fold," Yuuno sighed as he tossed down his cards. Muttering under his breath he added, "I hope Nanoha and the others are having a better time than I am."


"More food?" Mahoro asked, the black haired android dressed in a typical black and white maid's uniform. "Drink refills?"

"Not for me," Nanoha said as she got up, turning and offering Fate her hand. "Would you like to dance?" she asked eagerly.

"I'd love to," Fate answered as she let Nanoha pull her to her feet, the two walking out to the dance floor. "Nanoha," Fate murmured as they slow danced. She swallowed, summoning her courage, "I've wanted to sat this to you for a long time... I love you."

Nanoha let her head rest on Fate's shoulder, "I've loved you almost as long as I've known you, fate."

"Will you... be with me? Forever?" Fate asked as she looked down at Nanoha.

"Always," Nanoha agreed, kissing her again, tenderly.


The Staff of Arisugawa's Locket: Midori Sugiura is from Mai Hime, Mahoro is from Mahororomantic and Alpha is from Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou.

Notes: This is a somewhat expanded chapter from Arisugawa's Locket, a fanfic about a cross dimensional lesbian bar. Couplings of the Nanoha cast are part canon, part based on my reading of characters. Suzuka & Hayate seemed possible from how close they were in A's, tho it contradicts my other possible coupling of Suzuka and Arisa. Heh. Shamal and Doctor Ishida struck me as a 'possible' watching them together in A's, tho I admit it's a stretch.

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