Even in the original, this wasn't another FFA chapter but instead doubles back to flesh out Kit and Nico's relationship a bit more. Mostly because I was originally playing with random FFAs just for laughs, but then it started turning into something that… well, it was still for laughs but a storyline started emerging and I felt the need to smooth things out by adding in pieces I left out of the actual Kit/Nico FFA chapter.
Sitting on the edge of the bed they shared, Nico peered down at the box Kit was fiddling with on the floor. The way she was bent over as she wrestled with the twine binding the package shut gave Nico an excellent view down the brunette's shirt and she licked her lips. Then Kit let out a little grunt of mixed exertion and frustration, and Nico's eyes traveled up to take in the adorable pout the brunette was sporting before focusing on the streaks of unnatural color that swayed back and forth as she fought with the box. Reaching up, Nico tugged at one of the many streaks she'd had Gert dye into her hair that afternoon. Just like she'd planned, it was now almost exactly the same shade of red as the streak in Kit's bangs. "So… what's so important that you had to run out for early mail pick-up?"
Kit looked up briefly before giving up on her attempt to untie the knots that held the box shut, pulling out her knife and slashing through the twine. "You mean other than wanting to escape Gert's really nasty-smelling tree hugger hair dye? Dawn sent us some witchy stuff. I figured I should retrieve it before someone got curious about what a 'homeless' girl could possibly be getting in such a big box and went 'looking for drugs'. Considering how much effort Dawn put into finding them, it'd be really rude to lose our new staves before we can even try them out."
"New staves? What, like as a replacement to the Staff of One?" Kit opened the box, causing Nico's thoughts to abruptly shift from 'mmm Kit…' to 'ooh, shiny!'. Running down the center of the box, carefully packaged between a number of books and several bags and jars of herbs, were a pair of staves. Each had a shaft made of some sort of black material and was topped with a curved piece of stone; one was glossy and black while the other was pure white. Nestled together inside the box, they interlocked to form a yin yang. "Oh cool…"
Kit shook her head before lifting the staff topped with the yang symbol from the box and handing it to Nico. "Not a replacement. Think of it as… carrying a backup pistol. Two guns instead of one. They're not on the same level as the Staff of One; nothing Dawn could find in the Council's records is. Which I need to remember in the future before I whack someone upside the head with it, I suppose. At any rate, there's one for each of us so we don't have to take turns and, more importantly, they can cast the same spell over and over again."
Humming softly, Nico rolled the staff around in her hands, examining it from every angle. Technically speaking, the Staff of One could do the same thing… if she could train herself to stop relying on verbal mnemonics and focus her magic purely with her mind. The spell on the staff that kept her from repeating the same incantation twice was merely a form of magical training wheels, designed to encourage the user to adopt silent spellwork or at least learn that their mind controlled their magic rather than their words. So far she'd yet to master that skill. But while not having to stop and think of an unused word to cast the same spell again could be handy, it would ultimately stunt her own growth as a witch and… "I already have the Staff of One and I'm the only one who can summon it. Why don't we take one, give the other to Gert, and start including her in our study sessions? Sure she has Old Lace, but she could probably use a weapon of her own for when-"
Kit lifted her own staff from the box and shook her head as she straightened up before using her foot to nudge the package across the floor to rest out of the way against the nearby wall. "I would if I could because I'm tired of hearing her whine each time she gets a scratch, but it doesn't work like that. Well, it could, but I don't think Gert goes our way and even if she did, Chase would probably be pretty pissed with us if Gert did turn out to be able to use one." Nico blinked at that and Kit gestured first at the yin atop her staff, then the yang atop Nico's. "The Gemini Staves require two people, at least one of which has to be a witch, who are siblings or lovers. Not sure if there's some kind of West Virginia bonus…"
"West Virginia bonus?" Nico furrowed her brow as she pondered that. Really, Kit came up with some of the weirdest sayings…
Kit wiggled her eyebrows. "You know, if the pair using them are both siblings and lovers."
Grimacing, Nico rolled the staff around in her hands again. "You're so fucking classy sometimes, Kit. Alright, so how do we know if they'll even work for us?" Kit tilted her head to the side and Nico tried to figure out how to put her thoughts into words without deeply offending the girl she was sharing a bed with. "We're definitely not siblings… thank God because that'd make the sex really creepy… but what counts as lovers? No offense, but I don't know if I'm 'in love' with you. Does 'lovers' mean two people who have sex a lot, two people who are deeply in love, or what?"
Kit let out a loud sigh before spinning gracefully and pointing the head of her staff at their nightstand. "Roses are red, violets are blue, life is confusing and so are you." A burst of rainbow-colored energy sailed from the end of the staff to strike the nightstand, where it formed into a vase full of multicolored flowers. "Does that answer your question?"
"Yeah. I guess it does." Nico stared at Kit, waiting for the inevitable explosion of her declaration of not-love. And waited. And waited. Finally, when it became clear that Kit wasn't going to say anything, she decided to broach the subject herself. "Does it bother you?"
Kit raised an eyebrow and tapped her Gemini Staff against her left wrist. "That you don't love me?" The black and silver rod turned into a roiling blob of energy that wrapped itself around the brunette's wrist, turning into a beautiful braided bead bracelet made of black stone orbs. "No. I don't love you either. I mean, I like you as a friend, I care about you as a girlfriend, and you better believe I enjoy the sex… but love? I'm eighteen, Nico. I'm not even sure what that is yet, and so I'd be lying if I told you I loved you. Which is why I don't."
The pair fell into awkward silence before Kit sighed and grabbed some clothes out of their laundry basket. Nico hung her head as the brunette disappeared into the bathroom, closing the door behind herself and locking it for the first time in a good long while. Tapping the Gemini Staff against her left wrist, she blinked when nothing happened. Switching, she tried the right wrist and it reshaped itself into a white bracelet that matched Kit's.
And then despite her best efforts to keep it at bay, the inevitable question crawled its way into Nico's head: if she ever found the courage to ask Kit to surrender her staff, even temporarily, would she and Karolina be able to use them too? Nico still didn't even know why the blonde found her appealing, on any level be it physical or mental. They'd never really had a chance to talk about that before the kiss that wasn't, the arrival of Xavin, and Kit's appearance, and it definitely wasn't a subject she had any real interest in bringing up after the Kitchen Incident. Their friendship was definitely too fragile to survive the undoubtedly emotional conversation that could come from exploring stuff like that and besides, the last thing she needed was to accidentally convince Karolina that she reciprocated the Majesdanian's interest. But… did Karolina even know why she wanted Nico? Or had something else driven the kiss? Impulse? Hormones? Desperation? Stupidity?
Though, come to think of it, Nico doubted it would have gone very far past kissing. Spending time with Kit, even clothed, made her hands itch to touch the brunette. Which had gotten them in trouble a few times already, like that time their half an hour errand for the group had taken six hours that included a tour of three mall dressing rooms and two dark alleys. With Karolina… that feeling just wasn't there. Every time she tried to picture herself doing the same things with Karolina that she did with Kit, her best friend would inevitably morph into the brunette in her mind.
Nico slid off the edge of the bed, crossing the room to reach into their laundry basket. Lifting out the plaid skirt from her naughty schoolgirl costume, she stared at it. She liked Kit as a person, they had a lot in common, and the sex was incredible. Karolina was her best friend - mostly due to lack of anyone else being available to fill the position, really - and Nico pretty sure the blonde loved her even though she couldn't figure out why. Kit was the obvious choice, so why was her discussion of love with Kit stirring up thoughts of Karolina?
She spent the entirety of Kit's shower pondering the question and when the brunette hugged her from behind and pressed a kiss to her neck, she still didn't know. Then Kit's hand began to slide up the inside of Nico's thigh, and her train of thought was derailed.
Three hours later, with Kit curled up and resting her head on her chest, Nico couldn't remember what the question had been.