The events of this story, and the characters within it, are completely inspired and drawn from Darkbetrayer's incredible fic, A Certain Infinite Possibility. In my opinion, the greatest story in this fandom, and one which led me to really enjoy the Index/Railgun storyline, above and beyond what I originally saw in the animes. The setting of this particular fiction is similar to the Omake's Dark puts in from time to time, so it happens at some nebulous future point after the current point of the main storyline. It will reference things that happened in Seasons 4 and onward of his fic, so beware of spoilers if you haven't read that far.
This is meant to be a slower paced romance between Accelerator and Bayloupe, with eventual lemon scenes, but there will also be a more regular plot as well, as I explore what England is like for New Light in the wake of their participation on the wrong side of the coup of Princess Carissa. Also, exploring some of Bayloupe and New Light's past, which will get pretty dark at times, I warn you. I'm making a lot of assumptions and may tread across canon I haven't read yet, if so, forgive me but I'm having fun with my plot instead. I also do plan to eventually introduce other characters from ACIP, and may even explore a harem for Accelerator, though probably not in the same way Touma's is looking to develop.
Though inspired by Dark's work, I didn't actually consult with him on anything in this fic, so there may be some treading over his own canon as well. But that's the fun of fanfic.
I use CAPS for either strong emphasis on a single word or phrase, or to indicate raised voices. Hopefully should be obvious which is which. Italics are used for internal thoughts. My writing is in third person, with a bit of head hopping from time to time, though usually a scene is focused around one character's perspective over others.
The story is M rated. Expect blood, gore, swearing, violence, dark pasts, sex of many varieties, and perhaps even some fetishes (maybe I'll even figure out what Accel's was from Guys Night part 1).
Catching herself glancing at her phone to check the time for the fourth time in as many minutes, the tall and leggy silver haired girl leaning against a concrete pillar on the drop off plaza of the Blackpool International Airport sighed in self-exasperation. "There's no need to be nervous." She chided herself, under her breath, hoping that vocalizing the sentiment would help it stick in her feelings. A childish thought perhaps, but she more than many knew well what the power of belief could do in the right circumstances. Alas, there was no spell she knew that could banish the anxious heart string fluttering of a young woman about to meet her crush for the first time in a while.
That mixture of anticipation, nervousness, eagerness and worry had been growing inside her like a lump in her chest just to the side of her heart for several days now and was peaking in the final few minutes before their reunion. Such as it was… it hadn't been THAT long since she left Academy City, once the tempo of the crisis against Eve and the other servants of Lucifer had died down somewhat. In the end, it was still the Capital of Science after all, and no place for any sane magician to want to settle down for long… no matter what sort of intriguing young man might happen to live there. Though speaking of uncomfortable places to live, ever since the failed Coup of Princess Carissa, beautiful England hadn't been quite so welcoming and comfortable for her and her friends as it used to be…
Bayloupe shook her head slightly, banishing those thoughts for the time being. This was supposed to be a happy day after all, a rare opportunity to simple be Bayloupe the girl instead of Bayloupe, leader of the New Light Cabal. And it was supposed to be the start of the well-deserved vacation of her invited guest, Accelerator. A whole week of just the two of them, mostly, with Lessar still lingering in Academy City in romantic pursuit of Touma Kamijou, and Floris and Lancis accepting her earnest entreaties… and copious bribes… to make themselves as scarce as possible for the next seven days. Lessar had been teasing her about it constantly since finding out about the plans somehow, but Bayloupe had ignored her most annoying teammate's taunts… they were rooted as much in jealousy as anything after all, she was sure. Getting that much alone time with Mr. Kamijou was basically impossible after all.
It hadn't been easy, arranging this vacation invitation, of course. Nothing worth doing was, and Bayloupe definitely considered this worth doing. But still, there were a LOT of obstacles she had been forced to deal with. Not least being Accelerator himself, as while there was a lot about him she liked a lot, he was also extremely stubborn and not particularly social, even with the people he liked. And while they acted under the pretense of boyfriend and girlfriend while she was in Academy City, that was mostly a cover story to allow her to stay near him and Last Order during the fighting against Eve. And to explain to the owners of his apartment why she happened to be caught in bed with him after collapsing after the fight against Cain, but that was neither here nor there.
Bayloupe knew that Accelerator liked her, as a friend and as a girl, but getting him to admit that was like pulling teeth at the best of times. In the end, she had couched the terms of the solo trip to England more in the vein of an actual vacation, to get away from the constant daily stress of dealing with Last Order and Misaka Worst, and a working vacation, in that she was offering to tutor him in some types of magic. It both pleased and frightened her that Accelerator was showing interest in magic… pleased because it was an interest they had in common… frightened because he was the strongest scientific Ability User in the world, and him investigating magic was in direct violation of major treaties and agreements. Never mind the risk to his health and life from potential backlash, if the wrong people learned of his ability to refine mana or even cast spells, it was not going to be a small incident!
But Accelerator didn't give a shit about treaties or agreements between Science and Magic, he did what he wanted and made few, if any apologies for it. That sort of self-confidence bordering on or even crossing over into arrogance was definitely one of the things she found hot and attractive about him. All the moreso because so far as she had seen, it was all entirely and completely warranted, unlike most arrogant men. Accelerator really was THAT good, that strong, that talented and that capable. She'd seen that first hand when he fought and somehow defeated the immortal first vampire, Cain, something she would not have expected anyone but a Magic God to be even able to attempt.
But all that aside, she knew how to get Accelerator to agree, using the right words to couch the idea. And apply pressure on him from other angles. That tied in with the second obstacle, which was garnering permission from Last Order. Some might consider it silly to think of asking the young girl that was Accelerator's ward for her permission to hang out with or, in Bayloupe's case, hopefully date, a teenager half a decade older than Last Order appeared to be. But Bayloupe knew better. In all the world, there wasn't anyone or anything more important to Accelerator than Last Order, and in turn, more important to Last Order than Accelerator. It was enough to make a girl feel jealous, if she wasn't aware that the bond was much more familial than it could ever be romantic… despite what Last Order's childish desires might be.
But that was as much from ignorance as anything. Bayloupe still didn't completely understand Last Order's situation, but she had a general idea. And given her apparent mental connection to thousands of teenage girls, including Worst, it was perhaps not surprising that Last Order thought of "love" in the sense of teenage romantic desire, rather than the affectionate family bonding that would be more appropriate to a child of her physical age. She was slowly making progress with helping Last Order understand that while Accelerator did love her, deeply, it was not as a man loves a woman, but like a father loves a child, or a brother loves a little sister.
And helping the young clone come to terms with the concept that even IF Bayloupe was dating Accelerator, it wouldn't mean taking away his attention or affection from Last Order herself. That it wasn't about stealing him away from her, but rather Bayloupe joining in with their already existing dynamic. It was perhaps a bit too advanced a concept for a little girl, even one occasionally wise beyond her years like Last Order, but Bayloupe had confidence it would bear fruit… eventually. It helped that she got on well with Last Order herself and had built up a good bond with her independent of her interest in Accelerator.
In the end, she had to promise to Last Order that the girl could evaluate Accelerator after he returned from the vacation, and that if she determined that he was being "corrupted" or "stolen away" from her by a potential relationship with Bayloupe, that she could nix the relationship without argument from Bayloupe. It was a trifle risky perhaps, but because of her bond with Last Order, Bayloupe felt confident the younger girl would evaluate fairly, not based on her possessive feelings towards her guardian. And for that matter, it wasn't even like it was certain she even WOULD be dating Accelerator after the week was done!
Bayloupe was eighteen and matured enough by life and her own past that she wasn't entranced by "love at first sight" or "soul mates" or the other bullshit drama and angst many teenage girls liked to drown themselves in while going through puberty. A lot of the girls she'd gotten to know in Academy City acted like going out on a date with someone they liked was just a step away from being married to them, instead of a drawn-out process to find if you were actually compatible for a life with that person.
She liked Accelerator, quite a lot, and she was pretty sure he was attracted to her as well, in his way. But she could not honestly say she was in love with him, not at this point, and would expect him to be turned off and weirded out if she did say such a thing. They got along, they felt mutual physical and emotional attraction, but love? To be in love at this stage would be premature at best. Maybe after they'd been dating for a few months, with everything going well, she might be more confident in pronouncing deeper feelings than interest and affection. But not before then.
So, having secured Last Order's blessing, and with her help secured Accelerator's agreement, that just left the regular red tape and issues of getting Academy City's Number 1 out of said city and across the world into one of the bastions of Magic. Fortunately, Accelerator was looked upon quite favorably by the Queen and her followers due to his part in thwarting Princess Carissa's attempted coup, so there was no real interference on their part. There had been some obstructionism from parts of Academy City, but Accelerator had "talked" with some people, as had Jason Kagere, and the city's directors had decided that a mere week wasn't that long after all…
Catching sight of a familiar mop of silvery-whitish hair, and a distinctive high-tech looking cane moving through the crowds of tourists and vacationers that passed through the airport of what was once England's premier vacation hotspot, Bayloupe set aside her brooding on how things had come about, in favor of enjoying it now that it had. She straightened from where she had lounged against the pillar, reaching into the pocket of her skirt to touch a rune card she had hidden within. Said card did little more than send a current of barely perceptible magical energy against whoever she had fixed her eyes upon. It was the magician's equivalent of flicking a spitwad at someone to gain their attention. Immediately, she saw Accelerator turn in her direction, a brief glimpse of his glaring red eyes through the crowd.
"Hey." Bayloupe greeted him simply, knowing that he was likely to be even more irritable than usual after spending ten plus hours aboard a plane, even if he had been in first class. Also, she had a public image to maintain, as a cool and collected beauty. All the girls of New Light aspired to be gorgeous girls at all times, though they each expressed it differently.
"Hey yourself." Accelerator answered shortly, his eyes flicking up and down her figure so fast that if she hadn't been watching for it, she wouldn't have seen anything. She wasn't wearing anything special, just her usual lacrosse style New Light uniform, but Bayloupe well knew how it hugged her body in the right places to make her noticeable to the male gaze.
"Can I help you with your bag?" Bayloupe inclined her head briefly at the small wheeled bag Accelerator was dragging behind him with his non-cane arm. It was barely as big as a large purse, probably containing nothing but a few extra shirts and pants and sets of underwear, and maybe a few toiletries… guys tended to pack light, and Accelerator even more than most, as he would just buy things he wanted wherever he might be.
"It's fine." He replied curtly, almost defensively. Bayloupe took no offense… he was short with everyone. And for a guy so powerful, his day to day condition was probably extremely aggravating to say the least. And for that matter, even if it might be easier for him to walk without the bag, he probably didn't want to appear weak by having her handle it for him. It was silliness… she knew better than almost anyone how incredibly strong he was, and that had nothing to do with his slight frame and untoned build. But guys could be weird about their physical prowess in front of girls they liked.
"Ok. This way then." Bayloupe agreed and set out, carefully measuring her stride so he could easily keep up, without making it look like she was deliberately moving slowly. She was taller than him and had a longer stride after all, but one of several life skills she had picked up was adjusting her gait to blend in better when she didn't want to stand out. It wasn't a long walk, by design, to where she had parked their transportation.
"What the hell is this?" Accelerator blurted out when he saw what they were walking towards. "Are you fucking kidding me?"
"It's a motorscooter. Surely you have them in Academy City." Bayloupe answered, allowing just the slightest hint of dry amusement to leak through her tone at his exasperation. A Motorscooter was a road capable version of the electric variety often used to get around large stores or the like, somewhat larger, with an extended seat in this case, capable of handling two people, one right behind the other.
"I can fucking see that." Accelerator snapped, picking up on her amusement at his incredulity, and giving her a side eye glare to indicate he was on a short fuse already. "This is seriously what you drive? I thought you had some class, but this is…"
"Hey now." Bayloupe retorted, not about to let him get away with that sort of comment. "I'll grant you, its not flashy, and its sure not fast. But it blends in well, has great gas mileage, and can be driven just about anywhere, including on the sidewalk if need be. And I can pick it up and carry it up any hill or stair I can't drive up, or take it with me inside instead of leaving it parked on the street or in a yard. It's a completely practical mode of transport."
"It's a fucking scooter. Don't try and dress it up. It's something a little old granny would drive." Accelerator retorted, as he heaved a sigh and started attaching his suitcase to the luggage rack on the tail end of the scooter.
"Yeah, it's pretty shitty, I'll admit. But beggars can't be choosers." Bayloupe dropped the teasing act and sighed in her own exasperation. "New Light used to have a car… but due to certain events, that's been impounded. Along with most of our other assets and the greater majority of our disposable funds."
"Whatever." Accelerator shrugged it away, as he did most things that didn't really inconvenience him. "I just hope your place isn't as shit as your scooter. I came here to relax, not play handyman."
"It's one of our safehouses, so it's not bad. May not have all the top end amenities you're used to from Yomikawa's apartment, but it's perfectly livable, even cozy." Bayloupe climbed onto the seat, and very carefully did not make a big deal about Accelerator climbing onto the pillion seat behind her, even though he had to put his arms around her waist and lean against her back to maintain his balance. Lessar, and a lot of the other younger girls, no doubt would have made some kind of lewd comment or admonishment about minding where he put his hands. But Bayloupe was above such childish methods of flirting. And furthermore knew they would only annoy Accelerator, since that was what Last Order and Worst put him through all the time.
Besides, the sheer fact that she could feel him getting a little warmer just being against her back was more than enough reaction to satisfy her. She knew she was a knock-out, and that most any guy would be only too happy to get their arms around her waist and snuggled against her back like this, even if just for practical purposes. By making no big deal of it, she just made it seem normal and comfortable, which was the sort of maturity she knew appealed to Accelerator. And to herself. That didn't, of course, mean that she wasn't enjoying it a lot. It had been… several years… since she had last been embraced by a young man whom she favored, after all. Even for practical purposes. But she set such thoughts aside as she concentrated on driving back to what was, for now, home.
Accelerator did not pay much attention to the city that Bayloupe was driving them through. Though he would never admit it, he was pretty wiped out by the long flight, even if it had been spent in considerable comfort. He'd done his best to rest, but the jet lag was still fucking with him, just like the last time he'd come here, during the Hero's Golden Week vacation. The airplane coffee had been shit too, which never helped his mood.
Instead he focused on keeping himself in place on the back of the scooter. He had been surprised by Bayloupe's apparent disregard for safety, in that neither he nor she wore a helmet, but given that the piece of shit scooter was barely capable of hitting 60 kph at full throttle, he figured even if they fell off or hit something, they weren't going fast enough to really need them. Especially with her magic and his ability. The semi-warm evening air was rendered cool by the wind of their passage, ruffling his hair as he leaned against Bayloupe's back, his arms around her waist to secure him in place.
This wasn't his first time riding second seat on a motorcycle or scooter, nor even his first time doing so with a girl in his approximate age range. One of the Misaka clones had given him a ride to his fight with the Saint known as Acqua of the Back during the Coup in England last time, which at the time had frustrated the hell out of him. He liked to be in control of his own destiny, and that included being in control of any vehicle he was in, even if he wasn't the one operating it per se. But a Misaka sister was someone he could not bully or threaten into doing whatever he wished.
However, this time, even though he was riding something even more embarrassing than last time, he had made no real protest or attempt to swap places with Bayloupe. Perhaps he was just tired, and for that matter didn't know where to go to reach the place he'd be staying. And perhaps it was that Bayloupe was pretty comfortable to hold onto and lean against, warm and soft and yet also firm. He'd rather swallow a red-hot iron than say such a thing aloud though. Fuck it, she does make a good headrest though… shit, don't go thinking nonsense like that. This is just a vacation, a chance to get away from the brat and bigger brat for a while. That's all…
Sooner than he expected, though perhaps some of it was simply having drifted in a contented haze for a bit, he felt the scooter decelerate and then stop. Straightening up, he did not immediately relinquish his grip around Bayloupe's waist. Purely to help maintain his balance since his cane was still stowed, of course. Back in Academy City he would not have done even that, but in Academy City there was always someone watching, waiting to try and embarrass him or make trouble for him somehow. Here in England he was much more anonymous… hopefully.
He looked around with mild interest, seeing that they were somewhat outside the city proper, in a sort of semi-rural area, with lots of trees and gently rolling grassy hills. The city was behind them, a mass of glowing lights edging a long dark strip of ocean, far enough away that the lights were more a diffuse glow and pinpricks of light against a dark backdrop than anything. He inhaled the scent of sea air, freshly cut grass, decaying leaves, and the faint smell of petroleum fuels. It was very different from the scent of Academy City. There was also the warm, lightly floral scent of Bayloupe, subtle but pleasing. Accelerator successfully resisted the brief aberrant urge to lean closer to her nape and get another sniff of said pleasant scent.
He was doing his absolute best not to show it, but inside he was feeling some more of the stomach flip-flopping twisting sensation that he occasionally felt whenever it was just him and Bayloupe alone together. It wasn't exactly something he liked, physically, but at the same time he didn't dislike it either, emotionally. It wasn't something he'd ever really considered in the past for various reasons… either because he could not trust anyone before the Hero set him back on the proper path, or because he didn't feel worthy of anything of the sort afterwards. He still wasn't sure he was worthy of anything like a normal life, no matter what some people might say or think. But… maybe.
Realizing he had lingered perhaps a little too long in his embrace, Accelerator flushed just the slightest bit as he pulled his arms away, finding his cane where it was slung across the back of the bike behind him, and extricating himself from the pillion seat. Thankfully, Bayloupe either did not notice the slightly too long hug, or more likely, decided not to comment. That was one of the things he liked best about her. She knew when NOT to say anything, and not because she was intimidated by him, but because she actually considered how an errant comment might make him feel, or how it would make her seem. Look before you leap, think you before you speak, those were qualities he appreciated, and especially in girls.
The house itself did not seem particularly special, just a two-story wooden and stone structure that looked artificially rustic, like it had been designed to project the feeling of an antiquated building. The walls were painted a neutral brown color, with white siding on the gutters and around the windows and door. There was a small garage to one side of the house, and a medium sized yard in front, edged by a dark brown wooden fence about head high, more for decoration than security. Though his keen eyes did pick up some seemingly random carvings in some of the wooden fence pillars that looked a bit like some magical runes he'd seen Bayloupe draw before.
The place looked well enough kept, if not exactly lived in, very much like a vacation home, or in this case, a safehouse. It wasn't eye catching, but that was half the point after all. "Hnh." Accelerator grunted a mild acceptance, figuring that this place would do, and certainly appealed more than the goddamn scooter had. He saw Bayloupe smile at his mostly nonverbal assessment out of the corner of his eye, and did his best to ignore her slight smugness as he attended to his luggage, again feeling those odd butterflies in his gut.
One thing that definitely did strike him, as Bayloupe opened the fence gate and led him into the yard, hefting the scooter under one arm, was the ambient noise. Or rather, the near lack of it. Living in the most technologically advanced city in the world, he was used to a constant background hum of people and activity, but here there was none of that. Some distant sounds of animals in the woods, the sound of the gentle breeze through the trees, and maybe a hint of ocean surf underneath it all. Other than that, his breathing and footsteps, and Bayloupe's, and that was it. It was almost unnerving, after all the noise he had to put up with normally. But not in a bad way.
"Welcome to New Light's fortress." Bayloupe said in sardonic tones, as she set the scooter in front of the garage door and then opened the front door after unlocking it with a very normal looking key. "Not exactly Hogwarts, I know, but it's a little more than it may seem."
"Not exactly what?" Accelerator gave her a glare of mild incomprehension, before he looked around the entry hallway. There was a mat for cleaning and holding one's shoes, which he made use of, the instinct to discard his footwear upon entering a home engraved into him by Academy City's Japanese culture. The entryway led into a sitting room that was divided by a waist high half wall from a dining area, and from there to one side was presumably the kitchen, and a door out the back side of the house. There was a door to the garage or maybe a utility style room on one side of the sitting room, and on the other side a door to what was probably a bathroom. A stairway in one corner of the room led upstairs, presumably to bedrooms.
"You don't even watch movies that involve magic?" Bayloupe could not help but quirk one eyebrow and her lips at his failure to get the reference, as she watched him look around her home, such as it was. Accelerator felt a strong flash of irritation at her amusement at his apparent lack of some basic knowledge but pushed it aside as he continued to inspect her dwelling. It was… very normal. Wooden floors, light tan carpets, rustic décor with lots of faux wood and microfiber cushions in shades of brown and gold, with occasional hints of red. There was a big, flat screen TV placed along one wall, opposite a couch and coffee table. Just a few hints of clutter here and there on side tables and a coat rack and the like… just one coat on the rack, he noticed.
"I have better things to do with my time than watch silly movies." Accelerated snapped at her, perhaps a trifle more harshly than he meant to be, but he saw that she didn't let it bother her. Another thing in her favor in his internal scorekeeping… she didn't take his foul moods personally. Dealing with other people annoyed the fuck out of him under all but the rarest circumstances, but just because he snapped at you didn't mean he was trying to offend you… most people didn't understand that.
"I'm sure." Bayloupe continued to smile just a little as she kept watching him look around. "I'm afraid if you're looking for the witch's cauldron, the shelves full of dusty spellbooks, or the demon summoning sacrificial circle drawn in chalk and blood, you won't find them here. We may be magicians, but we're not luddites, Accelerator. Nor do we at least, go in for that sort of new-age wiccanism or the like, no crystals or herb gardens or crap like that."
"Didn't say you were." He grunted in reply but took her point all the same. He wasn't sure what he had expected for the home base of a magic cabal, but perhaps it being so normal was a trifle unexpected. "So where are the others then? Lessar is still trying to jump in the damn Hero's pants, I know, but what about Flower, or… what's her name… Lancis?"
"Floris, and she's gonna be mad that you still can't remember her name." Bayloupe smirked wider, clearly amused by his inability to get her teammate's name right. "They do usually live here, you're right, but I asked them to give us some room. They'll probably stop in from time to time to check in with me, but I figure you get enough of a house full of girls back in Academy City, and you might like a bit more peace and quiet."
"Hmph. Well, that's not wrong." Accelerator acknowledged with a smirk of his own. That queasy feeling was back again though, about twice as strong as it had been before. Just him and Bayloupe, alone in the house. No Worst to burst in on them and make all sorts of shitty misunderstandings and lewd insinuations. No Last Order to get the wrong idea about everything and revoke his Network access and leave him lying limp and helpless on the floor. No Yomikawa or Yoshikawa to give him those damn tolerant adult looks like they knew what he was thinking or feeling.
"Take a load off, why don't you." Bayloupe waved at the couch, as she headed through the dining room towards the kitchen. "Your room is upstairs… it used to be Lessar's, but since she's not likely to be back anytime soon, I cleaned it out… thoroughly… and now it's free. Each of the upstairs bedrooms has its own bathroom as well, so don't worry about that, though it may be a little cramped compared to what you're used to."
"Thanks." Accelerator answered, doing his best not to watch her ass and hips as she walked away from him, still feeling that pleasant-unpleasant sense of tension regarding her. Thankfully, Bayloupe did not seem aware of his straying eyes or the uneasiness in his gut. Or, more likely, she was aware but was sparing him by not commenting. He grunted to himself, twitching his lips in an almost grin for a moment, before availing himself of her suggestion, leaving his suitcase by the foot of the stairs as he leaned his cane against the armrest of the couch and plopped himself down on it. First seated, and them after deeming it acceptably comfortable, he stretched out on it, resting his head on one armrest.
Just as he got himself comfortable, he was aware of Bayloupe returning, and looked up as she reached over the back of the couch and lowered a metal cylinder towards his face, almost managing to put it on his forehead before he reached up and caught it. It was chilled, and he was a bit surprised to see the familiar label of one of his favorite coffee brands on the side of the can. "Huh. Didn't know they sold this outside Academy City." He commented, doing his best not to pop the can open and chug it all down in an instant… more than half a day without good coffee was seriously a strain on his nerves!
"They don't. But I had Lessar source a few cases for me and had them shipped over when we finalized our plans." Bayloupe replied casually, earning herself a raised eyebrow from him at her thoughtfulness. "Hey, don't get too big a head, its not just for you." Bayloupe said with a small teasing grin, as she held up a can of her own, which she opened with a snap-hiss of releasing pressure. "I like this stuff too. You have good taste in coffee." She sat down on the couch, just past his feet, as he wasn't big enough to cover the whole thing.
"I have good taste in everything." Accelerator rebutted with a smug grin, opening his own can and drinking deep of the dark, potent brew within. Unsweetened, no real additives, no extra flavors, just a good strong, rich blend, the way coffee should be drunk.
"Uh huh. So, does that mean your taste in friends is exceptional also? I'm sure Mr. Kamijou and the others would be tickled to hear that…" Bayloupe rejoined.
"Fuck you. I better not hear them say anything like that or I'll…" Accelerator trailed off, sighed and took another deep chug of coffee.
"Don't worry. I'm not planning on telling anyone what goes on during our time together." Bayloupe replied, and then perhaps flushed a little and busied herself with her own drink, as Accelerator stared at her for a moment before turning aside himself. Best not to read too much into that. He decided, even as he could not help but feel a twinge in his gut again. The uncomfortable silence soon turned into a comfortable one as they both concentrated on the coffee.
When his can was finished, Accelerator felt refreshed, if not exactly energetic… he was so inured to the caffeine hit from the coffee, he'd have to drink a lot more than just one can to feel a buzz. Reaching one hand up to his collar, he idly flicked the switch, just for a moment, restoring his ability to utilize most of his brainpower. He calculated, running the numbers on an equation that would have taken a math guru several minutes to do with a calculator, in a fraction of a second, as he sent his empty can across the room, bouncing off the wall, then the ceiling, then dropping neatly into the wastebasket positioned by the door to the dining room, without even looking at it. It was completely unnecessary, frivolous even, a waste of battery life… but he found himself unable to resist all the same, knowing Bayloupe was watching him.
Snorting in quiet amusement, she finished her own drink, and then tossed the empty can at him, watching it reflect in the same path his own empty had, bouncing across the room and back again before slotting into the wastebasket as if placed there by hand. As a result of his Vector control, there was no Ability User anywhere who had his instinctive sense for directions and velocities and spatial mathematics. He flicked the switch back off, and once more he was just a mortal again, one more vulnerable than most even, still able to think and compute as fast as a computer, but nothing like he should be able to do. But dwelling on what was lost to him was no use either.
He and Bayloupe continud to sit together, simply enjoying the quiet, unspoken companionship, for about half an hour more. Accelerator never even felt the jet lag catch up to him, as he drifted off on Bayloupe's couch. It was to be some of the best rest he'd had in a long time…
Bayloupe awoke at her normal time the next morning, which was fairly early, just after dawn. Accelerator might be there on vacation, but she couldn't afford any true time off at this point in her life. Due to New Light's government troubles and the loss of most of their prior assets and resources as part of their punishment for attempted treason against Queen Elizard… that's what a failed Coup was after all… she and the rest of New Light had to stay active and keep the money rolling in. Of course, helping Necessarius out with the Lucifer Crisis had paid pretty well, and done a bit of repairing their reputation as well, but it was far from enough in either case.
Complicating matters was the far greater amount of oversight she and New Light were being subject to by the relevant authorities. Originally, they had styled themselves as a Cabal Reserve Army, basically an amateur Magic Club, rather than a true professional Cabal. This let them operate mostly unseen and unremarked. But those days were over. After they had excavated and transported Curtana Original for Princess Carissa, they went from off the radar, to on EVERYONE's radar, in big, red glowing letters. If the second Princess had been successful in her coup, they would have been set for life off the payment… well, disregarding the fact that the Princess double crossed them and tried to have them all assassinated after getting Curtana.
Even Bayloupe's sense of patriotism had been… tested… by that, and if Lessar actually had been shot to death with Robin Hood, she didn't like to think what she would have done. Probably gotten herself killed in a messy manner, all things considered. She was nowhere near being in Carissa's league, with or without Curtana. Still, she could not deny a certain sense of resentment, fruitless as it might be. She and New Light had been critical to Carissa's plans, fundamental even, and to be tossed aside like that after doing everything right… such was the fate of commoners getting involved in the games of royalty, it seemed.
But it meant that New Light was in a tough spot now. Princess Carissa was no longer a patron, and those who might still support her were not fond of them either because they were a reminder of that failure and suspected of switching sides to the Queen's faction in mid battle, even for good reason. And of course, while they were officially forgiven and pardoned for their actions by the Queen, as part of Carissa herself being forgiven, unofficially they were considered traitors by the majority of England's magical community. Saying that they were on probation was insufficient to cover the amount of scrutiny they were under, and any hint of illegitimate activity would send a hammer down on them in a big way.
Which was a problem, because New Light was not aligned with the Church of England or the Queen and the Knights but was rather an independent group that had loyalties to England but not any of its major magical institutions. That meant they got most of their work in relatively small contracts from private clients, and often operated in grey areas of the magical and mundane law. That was just where the work was for small time, independent Cabals… all the more legitimate work was locked down by government or Church sponsored Cabals. There was mounting pressure for New Light to join one such larger Cabal, but that would be against everything New Light had been formed for, so they were doing their best to resist it and make ends meet regardless, without getting caught doing anything that could be used as an indictment against them. It was a lot of stress.
But that hardly even entered her mind that particular morning, as she awoke almost fizzling with energy, having slept well and had pleasant and exciting dreams. Accelerator was still asleep downstairs on the couch… she hadn't the heart to move him after he drifted off the night before, simply covering him with a thin blanket for comfort before retiring herself. Though not before sending a few texts to Last Order, assuring her that Accelerator had arrived safely and was doing ok. Her childish protectiveness of him was adorable, especially when exercised from a distance.
Quickly showering and attending to her morning grooming, Bayloupe threw on a carefully chosen "casual" ensemble of black ass-hugging sports shorts that covered to about the top fifth of her thighs and no further, and a fairly tight, dark blue short sleeve workout/running shirt, over a sports bra and regular panties, both grey. Going barefoot for the time being, she headed downstairs, walking as silently as possible past Accelerator, knowing how keenly attuned his senses were, and how lightly he slept. Fortunately, he seemed to either be tired enough not to notice her, or perhaps had already tuned her out as non-threatening, because he did not stir.
Resisting the urge to get a look at him, as he was quite cute when he was senseless and content in his sleep, but not wanting the awkwardness of him waking up to see her watching him, Bayloupe headed for the kitchen. She put on a pot of real coffee… investing in all the canned drinks, plus several mixes of real coffee beans had been a significant cash outlay for her, but she knew it would be worth it to see the look on his face. Plus she liked good coffee herself, so it was a personal pleasure as well. Then she began making breakfast… eggs, bacon, muffins and fruit.
After a few minutes, once the coffee was steaming and the bacon was just starting to sizzle, she felt a presence behind her in the kitchen doorway. She knew who it was, having heard the dull thump of the cane on the floor, so she remained engrossed in her cooking, lightly swaying her hips back and forth as if lost in thought. Of course, none of this was an accident, not her attire, not her position, not the food she was cooking, none of it. Bayloupe had her goal after all, and that goal was to make her relationship with Accelerator official. Demonstrating some of the advantages to that relationship was just common sense.
Coming onto him directly might work… but stood a greater chance of making him uncomfortable and making him withdraw into his shell. His power was so great that he had lived heavily isolated from others for most of this life. Attempting the direct route would just trip his sense of being sucked up to or being seduced for her own purposes, and that was not the sentiment she wanted to evoke. That was the flaw, she felt, in Lessar's approach to her romance with Kamijou, after all. Neither Accelerator nor Kamijou were looking for a simple booty call or sex friend or the like, they wanted a partner they could trust to care for them despite their difficult lives.
Much better to entice him with slowly increasing intimacy, perhaps even make him make the first move, though she doubted that would happen. But eventually the right moment would arrive when the mood was just right, and she could move in closer… and from there, well, best not to make too many plans at this stage, but she had prepared for most scenarios, including some that might give even Lessar some pause for thought. For now though, perhaps some more light teasing and banter…
"Sleep well?" She asked, finally turning her head to glance at her houseguest where he was leaning against the doorway into the kitchen. She managed to do so quickly enough to catch the slightly widened state of his eyes and the faintest hint of a red blush on his very pale skin, and Bayloupe smiled inwardly. She already knew he found her attractive. But it never hurt her self-esteem to have it reconfirmed. And aside from the Succubus outfit on Halloween, this would be the most revealing outfit she'd worn in front of him… and this showed off more skin than that had.
"Hm… yes, it wasn't bad." Accelerator answered her, a frown etching itself onto his lips as he realized he had been caught in the last seconds of staring at her in her workout outfit. Once again though, Bayloupe was clearly going out of her way not to comment on such things, either to spare him embarrassment or for her own purposes, or both. He was starting to get the hints of what her game might be, but he still didn't know enough to be able to turn the tables on her yet, so all he could do was continue to watch and take notes.
"Breakfast will be ready in a bit. You still like your bacon crispy right?" Bayloupe went on, continuing to bustle around the stove and lightly sway her hips from side to side, as if rocking to the beat of a song only she could hear. She knew that Accelerator did like his bacon crispy, indeed he liked his toast almost burnt and his eggs somewhat dry… he had something of a horror of undercooked or raw food, perhaps not surprising given Last Order's enthusiastic but incompetent efforts at making meals for him. Better too much cooking and loss of flavor than not enough cooking and bowel problems for the rest of the day.
But meaningless friendly conversation was one of the standbys of a good relationship, Bayloupe felt. Of course, being able to hold deeply meaningful conversations about personal and intimate topics was required as well. But being able to talk about nothing, repeatedly and contentedly, was an often disregarded necessity for a long term relationship. "As if you don't know what I like." Accelerator was not the best at casual or meaningless conversation, but perhaps he could be trained. With effort.
But if he wouldn't engage in regular domestic conversation, he had given her a good opening for banter. "I do know what you like." Bayloupe acknowledged and gave him another side eye glance over her shoulder. "And it seems you like my choice of outfit this morning as well, eh?"
"Why are you wearing that anyway? Never seen you dress like that before." Accelerator avoided anything that might sound like a compliment, out of habit as much as anything, but his interest in the topic was telling on its own.
"In Academy City I was on business, working an official job for Necessarius. So, I wore New Light's uniform most of the time, and then whatever else I needed to in order to properly blend in with the environment." Bayloupe replied with a careless shrug that made her tight shirt do some interesting things with her chest no doubt. "Now that I'm home again, and no longer on contract for a major client, I can dress more casually. Besides, I'm going for a run after breakfast. A girl's gotta maintain her figure after all, right?"
There's nothing wrong with your figure. Accelerator didn't say that, of course, but the once-over his eyes gave her again might as well have spelled the words out. With the food done, Bayloupe turned off the stove and divided the food onto two plates, and then gestured with her head for Accelerator to take a seat at the kitchen table. Once he was seated, Bayloupe sat across from him, after pouring them both a big cup of fresh brewed real coffee. There was a seat open next to him, but the mood wasn't right for such an intimate position, she judged. It would raise his barriers to be approached so soon even if secretly he might not mind it.
Breakfast passed in silence, but it was a comfortable one again. Yet another thing that Bayloupe judged to be critical but often forgotten about in a mature relationship… the ability to simply be with the person you liked, without talking or even doing anything special. To just enjoy their presence without garnish or activity. And especially so for someone like Accelerator, being able to enjoy the silence was going to be necessary. And for someone like herself… she loved her teammates to death of course, but dealing with three younger teenage girls and their attending drama all the time was a bit wearying, to say the least.
Accelerator surprised her by getting up unbidden to wash the dishes and cups after they were done, a fierce eyed glare his only response when she opened her mouth to tell him that it wasn't necessary, as he was a guest. But Accelerator played by no rules except his own, and while he rarely did domestic chores in his own home without being pestered about it by someone, clearly he wasn't averse to doing them when he wanted to, for whatever reason. Probably just to make himself feel like he wasn't being pampered by her entirely.
After cleanup, Accelerator took his bag upstairs to the room that had been cleared for him, finding that despite its original providence as Lessar's room, Bayloupe had indeed been thorough in cleaning it up, so that there was no evidence of her prior girly presence or more importantly, any of her perversities. Upon returning to the downstairs main room, Accelerator found himself stopping short on the final step once more, frozen as he saw what Bayloupe was doing.
Having retrieved her running shoes, she had started doing some warm up stretches in the main room to prepare for her run/jog. Which was a sensible action, Accelerator could not deny… in those times when he had been forced to do physical therapy after his gunshot wound, he had always regretted it if he did not warm up beforehand, despite his disdain for most physical exercise. But his own half-hearted motions were a far cry from the scene that Bayloupe presented, in her tight shirt and short shorts that barely covered the tops of her thighs as she bent and leaned and stretched and contorted her well developed body through its paces!
She wasn't looking at him, she had her back to the stairs, but Accelerator knew this was no accident. She was putting on a display for him, and while it wasn't a traditionally erotic one, as she was sensibly dressed for her chosen activity, that sensible dress was still pretty revealing! For the first time in a long while, he felt a bit of a stirring inside his own pants, but thankfully not so much so as to make a fool of himself. It would take more than this to really get under his skin, but his body had at least taken notice that there was a very attractive girl showing off her flexibility and healthy condition to him in tight and revealing clothes. And for someone of his hormonal balance, that was an achievement.
Determined not to allow her to know she had scored a point on him, Accelerator unfroze himself with a snort of irritation, and causally made his way around the other side of the couch, doing his best not to look at Bayloupe any more than he already had. Sitting on the couch again, he reclined into his preferred position for relaxation, and carefully kept his eyes on the ceiling rather than on his host. "So, what are your plans for me then?" He asked, deliberately leaving the question a little vague and open ended to see if she might slip up in her reply.
Too obvious, too easy. I would love to jump on that, but its just what he's expecting. Bayloupe told herself, in response to the slight jump in her heart rate that accompanied the guy she liked asking her what plans she had for HIM, while lying on her couch deliberately not watching her get all warm and stretched out. "No real plans." She said, earning herself a slight grunt of incredulity from him. "I mean it. I have some errands to run after I get my jog in, maybe a small job or two, but nothing that should take up more than half the day or so. I'll be in and out for a while, Floris and Lancis may stop by briefly, but as for activities, I figured you would want to set your own schedule."
Stopping her stretching, Bayloupe once more took a seat on the couch just past his feet, and turned to look at him, catching his red eyes after a moment. It was time to be a little serious for a bit. "I should be free by mid-afternoon most days, unless I'm working a job in the evening or at night. I'll be glad to take you out on the town or to any places of local note when I'm free. And for that matter, I'm happy to take you along on most of my jobs, though I warn you, the vast majority of them will be extremely boring for you, not like the adventures you get drawn into in Academy City."
"But otherwise, you'll be on your own to do what you like. Watch TV, nap, browse the internet, whatever. I have some more advanced tomes on spell lore and magical theory I can set out for you as well, and I'll be glad to discuss them with you after you read them and clear up any parts you don't understand. Not that I expect there to be many of those." She quirked her lips in a mixture of admiration and a little envy… learning magic had not been nearly so easy for her as it seemed to be for him.
"I would ask that if you want to try doing more than refining your mana, and actually attempt a real spell, that you wait for my presence. This place may not look it to the untrained eye, but its fairly well warded, magically speaking, and until I can properly attune your mana to the house wards, attempting to cast a spell would probably set them off. I doubt you would be hurt, knowing you, but the house might be damaged. And that would upset me." Bayloupe leaned closer to him, and narrowed her eyes at him. "DON'T upset me, got it?"
"Or you'll what?" Accelerator smirked in the infuriatingly smug fashion he had when he was feeling particularly invulnerable.
"Or I'll throw out all your fucking coffee and make you subsist on the local sludge for the entire rest of your trip." Bayloupe retorted in even tones. "I know where we stand on relative power scales, Accelerator, I can never forget it after what we've been through together. But don't doubt me. I can still make your life a living hell for the duration of your time in England, if you push me hard enough. I don't want to though." Bayloupe frowned and leaned back, glancing away. "Really don't want to." She added, under her breath.
"Tch." Accelerator hated that he felt a little guilty from her admonishment, but perhaps he deserved it. There was little need for his usual posturing with Bayloupe… as she said, they had been through some things together after all. He just couldn't help himself sometimes. Perhaps it was immature of him, but he liked to needle her and see if he could make her cool demeanor crack a little, from time to time. "Touch my coffee and I'll put you on a one-way road out to sea." He retorted gruffly. "But… I won't do anything to blow up your house." He added, somewhat more quietly, but still audibly.
"With that out of the way then…" Bayloupe returned to her usual collected self, and then gave him a smile that he had to look away from because of the butterflies it evoked in his gut. "I invited you here because I wanted to see you again, and I thought you could use the break, but I'm not laying the burden of any expectations on you, Accelerator. You just… be you, and that will be enough."
"You're plotting something." Accelerator accused her with a frown. He almost felt like being told to just "be himself", with that look on her face and tone in her words, was an underhanded insult mixed with a back handed compliment, and he wasn't quite sure how to respond. So, default to irritation. Even if it was tempered with unnecessary gladness at her saying "I wanted to see you again".
"I'm a girl, and a magician. Plotting things is part of my prerogative." Bayloupe answered with a teasing grin. "There's food and coffee in the kitchen, but if you're lacking any basic supplies, there's a convenience store about half a mile down the road to the south. Otherwise, any shopping trips will have to wait until I'm around to give you a ride on your beloved scooter…"
"Fuck you! Get out of here and sweat those excess breakfast calories off, why don't you!" Accelerator snapped at her with a glare.
"Yeah, yeah… you know I look good just the way I am." Bayloupe retorted, slipping on her shoes and heading out the door. "See you in thirty minutes or so."