Here we have another short story that has been bubbling in the back of my mind for however long it's been there. First, I would like to thank everyone for reading. These short chapters are helping me get back into writing before I continue the longer stories as well as whatever else I want to write. Thank you again for your support and any comments that are left.

Old Habit

I stop just short of taking a sip of my coffee. My mind races as it tries to comprehend what I was just asked.

With a loud sigh, I close my eyes and take a long sip from the mug in my hands. I put down the mug without opening my eyes, since looking at her will sap any resistance I have.

"No."

I can practically hear her huff in frustration.

"Why not? It's been so long since the last time."

"It hasn't been that long, and you know why. It's embarrassing."

"Oh, come one. You know you like it too, Hayate-chan." Her voice drips with honey.

It's a ploy. She wants me to look at her and lower my defenses so she can get what she wants. I won't fall for it. I can't fall for it.

"I most certainly do not." I hope that the finality in my voice will put an end to this whole discussion. "Do you even remember the last time? It was so embarrassing having Signum and Vita walk in and see that."

Silence. Good.

Feeling vindicated, I take another sip. I'm glad I got these new beans, the taste is certainly worth their price.

"Liar."

"Wha-" I slam the mug on the table. "What are you talking abou-"

I screwed up.

There sitting across from me is my wife. Her head cocked to the side ever so slightly, a positively beautiful smile gracing her lips, and gorgeous violet eyes filled with love.

I quickly turn my head away, my cheeks already burning under her gaze. "D-don't give me that look." I try to sound forceful and regain some of the momentum I had. "The answer is no and that is final."

A small giggle graces my ears. I'm pretty sure I'm about to catch fire at this point.

Against my better judgment, I look at her again, and she is still looking at me like before.

"Please? It's been so long." She extends a hand towards me, silently begging me to take it and give her what she wants.

No. Absolutely not. It's too embarrassing. I absolutely don't want to.

Another giggle hits my ears and I realize I've taken her hand at some point. With a small amount of displeasure, I realize I never had any sort of momentum in this conversation.

"Only for a little while, please?" I beg.

She smiles broadly. "Hai." That smile tells me this won't be as brief as I hope.

Letting go of the mug in my hand, we both get up and she walks towards me. I close my eyes and steel myself for what is coming. As within seconds, I am swept off my feet and held in my wife's arms. My arms wrap around her neck on instinct.

A happy laugh fills the kitchen as I'm spun around, only for the laughter to stop and a pair of lips to find mine. On impulse, I kiss her back.

After several, admittedly pleasant, seconds, I crack one eye open to see Nanoha beaming at me.

A princess carry. My wife, a strict combat instructor, a proud mage, and one of the more powerful ones within most of the known universe, developed a habit for carrying me like a princess of all things.

If I'm being honest, this isn't anything new for me. When I was younger and recovering from the Book of the Night Sky's curse, Signum and the others carried me like this occasionally. I even liked it at the time, but this… This is too informal and romantic. I can't help but be embarrassed by being held by my wife like this, especially when she gives me that look.

"See, this is nowhere near as horrible as you thought it was, Hayate-chan."

I roll my eyes at her. "Just hurry up and get it out of your system, Nanoha-chan." Honestly, just where did she develop this little habit of hers?

Another happy laugh graces my ears as she spins again and starts prancing around the kitchen. At this point the only thing I can do is nuzzle my head into her neck and let her do what she wants. My only solace is that the blinds are closed so no one outside can see us.

I can still feel my body burning as she spins yet again. Daring to look up at her I'm greeted with a truly happy smile. One that I usually only see on her when she is simply flying for the sake of flying. At this point I decide this may be worth it.

Until another sight enters the corner of my vision.

Craning my head slightly, I see two pairs of eyes looking at us around the corner. Small frowns gracing Vivio and Erin's faces.

My face heats up again at my daughters silently judging me.

"Vita!" Vivio calls out for one of my knights. "They're flirting again!"

"Rein!" Erin calls out for the diminutive knight. "They're being embarrassing again!"

"Let them be you two!" Vita's voice comes from one of the other rooms. Her voice is muffled due to the distance, and yet I can't help but hear the annoyance in her voice. "They'll be done soon enough. So come back and finish your homework!"

My entire body is on fire as I force my head into Nanoha's shoulder. I hear the kids answer Vita and leave while I feel Nanoha wave to them.

I groan into her shoulder as she simply giggles before placing a kiss on my temple. I look up again to see brilliant violet eyes looking into mine.

"It's okay, Hayate-chan." She quickly kisses me. "I love you."

I wrap my arms around her tighter and hide my bright red face. "Meanie." She giggles in response.

It is so embarrassing. Being carried like this by her and being showered in affection every time she gets the chance.

Yet, her laugh sounds melodic to me at this point and being carried isn't… uncomfortable.

I sigh and nuzzle as deep as I can into the crook of her shoulder. Strangely, I hear a purr.

Maybe I really am a liar.

I decide I don't want to think about this anymore and I purr into my beautiful wife's shoulder again.