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 It was nighttime already when Akko came to. The first thing that greeted her was the comforting scents ingrained in her nest. She instinctively searched for Chariot’s scent, grabbing the jacket and pulling it up to her nose, inhaling it first before she shuffled in her sheets.


“Ah, Professor!” she hears Lotte’s voice say somewhere to her right. “She's awake!”


Akko briefly opened her eyes and saw the flash of red hair from the corner of her vision. Groaning for a bit, she sits up and blinks blearily at the two figures in front of her nest. “Oh thank Jennifer,” Akko hears Professor Chariot’s voice whisper. Finally, her vision sharpens. 


Once Akko regained her bearings, Lotte quickly gave a short rundown of what happened; she got a dizzy spell, almost face-planted on the floor if not for Sucy catching her, and then quickly brought her back to the dorm whilst notifying Chariot. “The dizzy spell was just another one of the suppressant’s side effects,” Lotte says matter-of-factly. 


“The cut-down of suppressants surprised your body.” Chariot pushes the glasses up to her face. “It was fortunate that Amanda didn’t think it was something else. But enough about that,” The Frenchwoman approached to the side of Akko’s bed and brought a hand up to pat her head, gently caressing her hair. She flashes her a gentle albeit worried smile. “How do you feel now?”


The small strokes on her head brought comfort to Akko and she sunk in her nest. She flashes the woman the brightest of smiles. “I’m doing great, Professor Chariot. Thank you!”


Chariot’s heart melted at the sight; the running from the professor’s lounge to here was worth the trouble if it meant seeing her student without a scratch. “Lotte, you and Sucy should go and eat in the cafeteria now,” she tells the beta. “Akko and I have… something to discuss.”


What? Akko’s eyes bugged out of their sockets staring at Chariot, dread making its way around her head as she realized it’s going to be another one of their talks


Lotte blinks at the glance the older omega was giving her then takes the message. “Alright, Professor. Akko, we’ll be back with your food, ‘kay?” The beta flashes the brunette a coy smile before disappearing behind the door, and she was alone with the professor then. 


Well shit. The brunette’s mouth twitched as she stared at the door, hyper-aware of her mentor taking a seat and sitting properly beside her bedside. Knowing there was no way out of this, she turns to Chariot, who was looking at her with an unreadable expression. “... Did I do something wrong?”


Chariot purses her lips at the sight of her student looking apprehensive. But if her teammates were telling the truth earlier… “No, Akko, you actually didn’t. If not for the dizzy spell. I want to hear it from you and you alone,” The brunette tenses up as Chariot looked at her square in the eye. “Did you actually try and tell Amanda your dynamic?”


Akko’s eyes widen in surprise and she remembers that she… did. 


“I’m--” Like those were the secret words, Akko’s resolve was forgotten, anger boiling in her skin as something stung in her eyes. The coiling stress inside her snapped and the threshold to her patience opened. “That’s because I’m--! I’m--!”


The brunette puts her hands in her temples and sighs deeply. The regret and weight of the suppose-admittance finally came to her and dropped sacks of bricks right on the head. “Yeah…” she admits. “Yeah, I did.”


Chariot’s breath hitches in her throat, watching in disbelief. “Why?”


"I-I just snapped," Akko replies, pulling her head up to see Chariot's concerned look. "I didn’t mean to, I swear! It’s just that…” She purses her lips, finally feeling the weight of the event before. She imagines just yelling the answer out, just to prove Amanda was wrong, and suddenly alphas across the school would come jumping right at her. Sighing, Akko wipes her fringe away and asks, “Professor, why are alphas such jerks ?”


The redhead blinks and her gaze softens, realizing what worked the brunette up. “Did Amanda say something to upset you?”


Hesitantly, Akko nods. “She… She said she wanted to meet the pack who jumped the omega from the rumor. So she could find out who she is…” Her sweet omega scent turned damp with frustration and sadness, her hands gripping the soft sheets. “She didn’t care, Professor, if a fellow student got jumped. She cared a lot more if the omega was pretty! Can you believe that?”


Amanda’s nature fits like that, Chariot thought but her student would be disappointed at her for wording that out. The alpha wasn’t out of line either, since she didn’t know of the omega’s true identity. “Akko,” Sliding their hands together, Chariot tilted the brunette’s face up to see her eyes. “When it’s things like these, we just have to stay calm. I know it’s… harsh,” The image of an alpha’s face comes into mind and Chariot swallows her cringing. “But we must not act so brashly.”


Akko stares at her mentor’s eyes, aghast. Acting brashly? It’s not about that! “Not if I can help it, Professor!” she exclaims. “She basically said she sided with the pack! Wha-- I mean, what was I supposed to do? Take it like it’s nothing!?”


The anger was fair, but Chariot had to guide her student to calmer thoughts. “She didn’t know it was you, Akko.”


“Well, what if she had!?” The brunette yells, tears stinging in her eyes, and Chariot felt her heart crack. “She would have probably sided with those horrible crooks, anyways!” She looks down and grimaces. “I can’t keep on hiding like this, especially when all these alphas are…” She sobs. “Are so awful .”


Chariot’s face pinches into a grimace as her student sobs again, and she lets her, not knowing what to say. What good would telling Amanda of her real dynamic was? It would be social suicide. Akko wouldn’t have peace with her safety and virtue as an omega, and her teammates would have their work cut out for them trying to keep her away from the alphas staking a claim, and The Nines know Akko wouldn’t let anyone claim her until she says so. 


But the pressure pounding in on the brunette was starting to take a toll on her health. The dizzy spells, her lack of appetite, her heat… At this point, she could really die from either heat strokes or hypertension. And Chariot was determined to let her student go through this peacefully. 


When Akko finally quieted down, the redhead reached a decision. She swallows and pets Akko’s head again. “Akko,” The brunette looks up from her mattress and catches the resolute spark in her mentor’s eyes. “You can tell your friends that you’re an omega. But only after your heat is done.” Her jaw drops. “I’ll help you fend away the alphas. It’s your call. For now, we should let the Samhain Festival pass by.”


Akko blinks. She completely forgot, the Samhain Festival… 


A bolt of wit struck her. That’s it! Her face lights up in ecstasy as a fantastic idea comes up to the front of her mind. “Professor, that’s it!” she yells, startling the older witch when she turns to her with stars in her eyes.


“T-That’s what?”


The Samhain Festival! ” Akko leaps out of her nest and twirls in delight. “Jennifer, that’s it ! I could perform in the Samhain Festival for the Moonlit Witch right!? If I perform an awesome show there and win the title, then I’ll show them! I’ll show them what an omega could truly do!” She turns back to her Professor who turned pale. “If I perform a show and win that title, and admit I’m the omega in the rumors, then the backlash wouldn’t be as heavy, right?!”


Laughter starts to fill the red team dorm, the brunette rapidly jumping up and down as the image of her pulling out a show with the alumni judges’ jaws down to the floor and then having it dip back down when she says she’s an omega. The thought alone was exhilarating and she could already hear their surprised yells; an omega performed that high-level magic!?


Akko grins widely and grabs her wand from her desk. “I better start practicing now--”


However, as she passed by the professor, the back of her shirt was pulled back and she reels away from the pathway to the door. “No!” Chariot frantically said. “Akko, no! You can’t practice magic right now.”


The brunette pouted at her and was about to ask the redhead why before Dr. Xena’s face flashes in her mind. 


“Magic can trigger any primal parts of a person. Omegas, on the other hand, cannot take magic without straining themselves, especially near heat.”


Akko slumped a bit but still faces her mentor determinedly. “But I have to! How else can I perform a great show for a big audience?”


Chariot’s face pinches into a scowl and snaps, “Akko, you know what happens when you exert yourself, especially when you’re a week away from your heat!” She pulls the brunette by her shoulders and told her, “Your idea is fine but it risks your health very deeply. Please, Akko. You can’t do this. Reconsider.”


Akko’s face fell as the teacher pleaded with her. “B-But… this is my only chance to prove to them what omega witches can do, Professor…”


“I know. It would’ve been the perfect plan but the circumstances are different, Akko. You’re in near heat. The audience is likely to be chock-full of alphas. I…” The grip on her shoulders tightens and Akko winces from it. She looked into her mentor’s eyes and saw them shining in conviction. “I just can’t risk you in this, Akko. So please.” The hands fall to hers. “Reconsider.”


Like hell.


Like hell. Like hell, like hell, like hell!


Akko tosses herself in her nest but guilt holds vice over her heart. She couldn’t deny anything from Chariot, and likely never will, but what will she do while omegas like herself are still tormented by disgusting oppression from alphas!? What about Sola? The two omega seniors in the grade above her? Professor Chariot herself!?


Her sheets bunched up to her neck, providing little to convince her restless body to sleep. Moonlight filtered through the window curtains. It’s midnight.


Like hell will she reconsider this.


If there was ever a perfect opportunity to convince these bastard alpha witches about omega witches, it was a good time as ever. Like hell will she turn away.


The Samhain Event was dangling in front of her in provocation to her urges to clap back against what Amanda, Chloe, what fucking Chariot said. She won’t sit by and let this continue, just letting every word from others cling to her mind like rusting razors.


No, in heat or not, this was the time to act brashly. She was resolute on her passion and she won’t let old political minds of assholes ruin it.


I won’t! I absolutely won’t!


Akko gets up from her bed, quietly picking up her wand. She whispers a scent-blocking spell, rubbing a bit more of her perfume to her wrist and neck, before picking up her red collar and tying it across her neck to cover the scent glands. She tries to gulp down her fear but the collar tightening around her throat was making it hard. Sucy and Lotte were dead to the world.


To hell with her health. She will show up for those old-minded alpha witches and show them. Fuck winning the title. All she needs to do is to show .


I’ll show them.


Akko quietly drapes her cloak across her shoulder, opens the door, and steps out.


I’ll show them what omegas can really do!


Careful not to be too conspicuous (as conspicuous as you can get by running in Luna Nova’s halls with a cloak), Akko ran to the backside of the castle, heading north, far away from anybody finding her. 


The clearing was a little far away from the newest building but not yet halfway to the north building. When the brunette arrived, the entire area was dead. So she was safe; for now. Nobody tagged her. At least, not to her knowledge.


Akko takes off her hood and looks over to the clear dark skies hanging over her head. Fireflies flew around the clearing, giving her a bit of light and she breathed under the new sky. It was perfect.


She grins and takes out her wand. While she didn’t bring a book or any references, her heart was still her magic. So with both hands, she brings her wand to her front and contemplates what spells to use.


While she had mastery over metamorphosis magic, she knew using it would strain her already pained body. And anything stronger would surely trigger an abnormal heat. So for now, she should take something easy, yet something she could tweak around to fit for a show.


Akko grins when she remembers the elemental spells. Flame, Earth, Air, and Water. They were by no means easy spells but they didn’t take up as much as metamorphosis. If she could trap the energy of these spells and manifest it using Paleis Capama, with a bit of spark here and there, it’ll lead to something. 


This image in mind, the brunette shakily grins, pulling on her collar a bit to keep her scent glands covered. “Alright…” she whispers and flicks her wand open. The easiest of the elements was fire, so with this, she wills a green light to the tip of her wand, a spark of ember occurring. 


Then with a flick of her wrist and a yell, a searing flamethrower billows out.


She wants to sleep. 


By the Nines, Diana wanted to sleep so badly yet the pressure of her schedule wouldn’t relent. She wonders how on earth she got this god-forsaken position as night patrol on top of everything but knowing it’s her duty as de facto alpha, she can’t return to her bed just yet.


Honestly, with everything else on her plate, a patrol across the school was one of the last things she needed. Especially since the whole day she basically ran around to fetch papers for the deputy headmistress and glowered at the students to get back to work. Diana reaches up to touch her aching forehead, feeling around the red bump from slamming it repeatedly on a countertop in the medical ward. Right; another thing was her entire conversation with a resident omega and just realizing how sheltered of an alpha she was.


She grips her broom, the wood digging into her palms and the pain got her eyes wide. By the Nines, she better not see anyone running around. Who would? Especially during this ungodly hour?


A certain brunette, most probably. At the thought of the girl, a new yet old weight has again been added onto her shoulders and Diana frowns. The avoidance was getting ridiculous. The heiress was busy, yes, but that doesn’t excuse it for not yet talking to the brunette. And yet, she hated to inconvenience her.


Whatever Akko probably had going on was affecting her. Maybe it was something back in her hometown in Japan? 


Then it struck Diana again, the same bolt of guilt from earlier.  For claiming she was Akko’s friend, she’s yet to know anything about the girl; not her history, not about her hometown or parents, not even her scent


Diana felt like a disgrace, as a friend, as an alpha, as everything


For all the shit Akko has gone through, Diana yet to know all of it. Not even how she entered Luna Nova; did she influence the staff with money? Maybe her grades? Perhaps Akko really was an academic ace and only failed the first year for not knowing the basics of magic. Then there was her scent; by the Nines, that’s what the heiress truly felt dull at. She’s ridden a broom with her before yet she couldn’t place it anywhere . And despite promising herself that she will, she hasn’t even started at it.


Stopping by Luna Nova’s veranda of the north building, the heiress leans over the railings and sighed. Her frown deepens and she stops by to look at the stars above the castle’s sky, seeking for the Ursa Major. It shone brightly across the northern horizon, the pattern very much reminding her of the staff that once belonged to her childhood idol and a klutz of a brunette.


Diana sighs, appreciating how the wind billowed around her, the whistle against her ears calming her. 


Then came the scent of smoke. Diana’s attention swerved lower as a gust blew into the castle. Not pungent enough to warrant distress but the heiress knew this wasn’t normal. When the harsh scent was gone, she sniffed the air and noticed the hint of magic it carried.


The alpha stood straighter. Someone was out in the woods. Out in this hour? There could be only one person…


Diana mounts her broom and follows the scent of the smoke, desperate to find where it was. While she was doing this out of duty, she was mostly concerned about why the brunette was outside her dorm during this hour again, somewhere so far away.


The bubble enclosing the swirl of fire exploded. Again. And so did the other four spheres. None of which looked graceful in doing so.


Akko huffs as a gust of wind blows across her body, causing the cold sweat to drip down her temple. She wipes it away and looks down at her hand, surprised to see how much she perspired in such a short time. “I’ve only been practicing for barely fifteen minutes!” 


But as it should be. She was practicing spells on her own so was it any surprise? Akko ignores her short breath and wipes the sweat into the fabric of her cloak. 


She tried to steady her laboring breath but it was getting colder with the winds. Oh dammit. Whatever, she worked worse. This was easy. She just needs to summon a big enough bubble to sustain an elemental spell first then she’s done. That’ll be the spell to perfect for tonight.


Tomorrow would be the big boys.


Akko grins at the thought and lifts her wand.


She’ll try and try again until she’ll perfect this. She has to, otherwise, she’ll be too slow to make any progress.


Akko’s face shone resolutely under the stars and moon and a green glow of magic summons at the tip of her wand. It was no use with fire. She could feel its heat effectively affecting her. So she opts for the next element; air. She raises her wand again. “ Ripi A --”


When she was about to yell the spell, however, an electric pain struck her bandaged hand, and she yelps in pain, losing the grip of her wand and letting it fall to the ground. From the impact, the collecting gust went loose and blew in different directions, including right into Akko’s face. 


“Ah!” she yelps at the explosion of gust, ducking down to not let any dust or leaves attack her face. When the gust dwindled, Akko looks at her wand again, her breath leaving in light shallow puffs. 


It was fine now. Maybe. So she tries picking it up.


And her hand starts shaking.


Another shock of pain comes through her right hand, the one where she bit into the other day, and she cringes in pain before letting the wand go. 


Harsh stinging pricked behind her eyes and Akko felt tears pool. Why? Why why why?


She couldn’t even hold her wand properly now. Was it really fruitless? Did she get out here all for nothing? Maybe. Probably. It’s barely been half an hour since she left the dorm but no one’s found her yet. 


She looks around and finds no other sight of another person. Good. Let it stay that way, at least until she gets this fucking spell right.


In. Out. In. Out. Akko’s breaths came out deep and even for a few moments before she took her left hand to pick up her wand. It felt awkward and heavy, not used to having her wand on her left hand but she still needs to practice.


Slowly, she pulls herself to stand, knees feeling more like jelly than joints that withstood many falls. God fucking dammit. If she wants to get the basics of her performance down, she needs to be in her best body.


But no, this was her omega body preparing for heat, not the Akko body that can stand a fall from the Moon Tower’s highest floor. A body suited to roll around a nest and just lay there with a nightmare of a fever. Maybe moan for some physical intimacy or some other shit that wasn’t her and goddammit, why was she like this!?


Atsuko “Akko” Kagari wasn’t a person so easily swayed by inconveniences like these. It took more than a failed spell, because fuck, she failed so many fucking spells before, why was this any different!? She’s overcome everything else that was thrown at her, and she’d be damned if she can’t fucking get a gust of wind trapped inside a bubble right. 


Wait, no she can’t get anything done by letting her blood boil. Breathe, Akko , she thinks to herself. In… Out… In… Out… As her breath evens, she starts to forget about her previous grievances, allowing a chance to recollect herself. 


Now her nerves were still. Akko sighs as the tension begins to leave her body. Good thing that inner pep talk monologues helped. Now all she needs to do is to--


“What are you doing here, Akko?”


Oh great. Fuck.


“DIANA!!?” Akko’s voice reached another pitch high enough to break the glass as she turned around to see the heiress several yards behind her. Broom in hand, face schooled into concern and strictness; Night Patrol Diana was indeed here in the flesh, ready to ruin the fun.


Well, this night was going to be ten times worse. 


Diana, while surprised at the brunette’s high-pitched yell too, steps forward and asks, “What are you doing out here?”


Fuck fuck fuck. Akko has to come up with an excuse quickly. “I was uhhh---” She looks around to see if she can protrude a reason out of thin air and her eyes land on the fireflies flying around. Perfect. “Right! I was, uhhh, trying to capture fireflies!”


“Fireflies?” Diana repeated, unconvinced, and unimpressed. 


Akko rapidly nods, almost fearing her neck might break. “Y-Yah! I can’t sleep properly these days, ya knooow? It’s hard for a girl to do anything these days when-- when the Samhain Festival is over our heads!”


The heiress raises a brow, saying nothing. Akko could feel the fucking pressure exuded from her and by Jennifer, say something! Her hands shook and sweated, carefully covering herself with her cloak and hiding the collar from the heiress’s piercing eyes. 


“If you were trying to catch fireflies, where’s your jar then?” Diana suddenly asks. Akko’s mind comes up blank. From her silence, Diana sighs. “What were you really doing out here, Akko?”


Red eyes met blue then Akko knew there was no way out of this. Might as well tell her. Shoulders sinking, Akko admits, “I was practicing my magic.”


“So late at night?” Diana asked, brow rising again and Akko frowns at it. 


“We’re supposed to be performing for the title of Moonlit Witch, right? That’s what I’m doing!” Akko snaps and shifts the weight of her wand to her right hand. As her bandaged hand grabbed onto the wooden handle, one more shock of pain startled her into dropping it. “Ah!”


The heiress gasped and quickly came over to the brunette. “Are you okay?”


Shit! Please don’t come nearer! Akko thinks, hoping that the heiress would hear it whilst scrambling to retrieve her wand. “Y-Yeah, I’m fine!” she said, cringing at the next flash of pain wracking her hand. “Just being a bit clumsy right now, haha!”


Diana could see the pain in her eyes, even under the darkness. The sight clenched at her chest and she stepped nearer to her, desperate to clear the expression away, ignoring how the brunette blatantly scrambled to get away from her. “Akko, obviously something is wrong,” she insists, crouching down from a meter from the girl, who looked at her cautiously. “Please. I’m not going to hurt you.” She raises a hand. “Just let me see it. So I can heal you.”


Akko stares at the outstretched palm Diana offered, her voice and words are so carefully soft that she felt guilty for trying to get away from her. Well, guilty- er . She looks up to see Diana watching and waiting for her to take it. Diana’s a good alpha , a voice in her mind that sounds like Chariot whispers in Akko’s head. She won’t hurt me, right? She won’t try to suddenly pull me and force herself on me. She’s Diana


She’d never hurt a fellow student...


The omega stares back into the alpha’s eyes, hand scratching the ground, waiting to accept the offer. When she starts raising her arm, she smells the air then, noticing the strong pheromones the heiress exuded. While comforting, while wonderful, it still reeked alpha


But what about an omega?


Just when her fingers were a mere two inches away from Diana’s, Akko immediately retracts it, pulling her hand back, shuffling further away from her. “ No .” 


The action stumped Diana. Again. The blatant rejection struck a massive crack in the threshold of her heart. 


Akko’s frown deepens and she looks away from the shocked expression marred on the heiress’s face. “S-Sorry, Diana, I-I really am but… this is…” 


Diana gapes at her, not even trying to hide the flicker of pain that Akko inflicted on her heart. This was what? What ? Just what did Diana do? What could she do? Just to even help her? She has to know. She needs to know.


“A-Akko, I don’t understand,” Diana stammers, feeling desperate as she kneels nearer to the girl. “I can help you,” But will she accept it? “Please, I’ve been with you enough to know when you’re in pain,” Does she really? “Please. Please, just let me help you.”


The conviction and anguish in Diana’s voice almost broke Akko but the scent surrounding her kept her away from the alpha. Thoughts jumbling, the omega kept quiet instead.


Receiving nothing but a conflicted stare, Diana’s shoulder slump, looking at the brunette sadly. It was too much to bear. “Did…” she gulps. This was it . “Did I do something wrong?”


The emotions in Akko’s gaze shifts into one of shock. What?


“Did I do something to upset you?” Diana continues, blue eyes boring into red ones. “I know I’ve been busy and all, and maybe because of that I haven’t been paying attention much,” Even when all the previous weeks she’s been thinking of nothing but her? “But for the life of me, Akko, I don’t know why you’re avoiding me.” 


Each word was like a heavy cannonball to the wall the omega tried setting up between the alpha and her. And it was coming down fast . Akko quickly sat upright, finally facing the heiress properly. She needs to make stuff clear. “D-Diana, this isn’t about you at all!”


So it wasn’t . However, the relief that the statement brought was volatile. “Then why are you avoiding me?” Diana asks again. 


For once, Akko was the one who was stumped. Panic rose in her chest. “I-I…” she tried to say but words failed her. Should she tell her? No. That wasn’t an option. But then what are her options? The brunette’s mouth dries up as her nerves jumbled in a mess, trying to find any form of excuse. The anguish in Diana’s eyes refrained her from half-assing her reasons. 


She needs the alpha’s trust before she could tell her. The prospect of leaving her unanswered wasn’t at all something Akko wanted, but the idea of telling her then scared her deeply. Her only choice to see if Diana would do anything…


“Diana,” she calls. The heiress looks back into her eyes, attention nowhere else. “How… How would you feel when one of your closest friends suddenly… suddenly showed something you never expected from them?”


“Huh?” The heiress stares dumbly, the question catching her off-guard. Something you never expected from them? Her lips pressed together in confusion, staring back at the waiting apprehension in those red pools. From what she could take away, did something really happen to Akko and this… friend…? “I… I’d be surprised,” Diana carefully answers, gauging the brunette’s reaction. 


Akko’s gaze became unreadably stoic. “And what would you do?”


Something in the brunette’s words made Diana suddenly feel like she’s on thin ice. She looks down and wonders, what would she do? It was obvious Akko was seeking the right answers, and Diana wanted to give it to her but even then, were her opinions correct? Judging by how dull the heiress had become these last few days, probably not. 


Hands bunching up beside her, Diana decided to be nothing but honest. Better than nothing. She was sick of herself being this indecisive coward. “I’m… not sure, Akko,” she admits. “But I will say this,” she looks deeply into those red eyes, so bright and wide that they held the sky’s stars. “Given the circumstances, I wouldn’t hesitate to help them.”


Akko blinks at that, the earnest honesty of her words surprising her for a bit. Diana wouldn’t hesitate to help, she muses and from her scent, Akko knew Diana wasn’t spewing one lying word. A brief smile erupts on her face. Diana really is kind


“Heh,” Akko snorts. Diana looks confused. “That sounds just like you, Diana,” she finally says, shifting her legs to stand up but still maintaining their eye-contact. 


The heiress’s eyes follow her closely. Under the moonlight and the ambiance nature brought, Diana thought the brunette’s smile looked stunning than usual. She follows her movements, quickly standing up but not before catching a glimpse of pain in her eyes. 


It was awful to see her face contort in such a way. I can help her , she thinks, stepping forward, and after what feels like forever, Diana grabbed her hand, feeling her warm skin. 


Like a spark, sudden electricity of warmth came through her body just from the small contact, relieving Diana’s previous grievances over the brunette almost immediately. Akko gasps from it and tries to pull away but Diana’s grip grew tight, trapping her. 


She had her now. And Diana wasn’t about to let go. Staring into her eyes, Diana said, “Let me help you, Akko.” Her voice came off a little more forceful than it should but she was tired of letting her get away. So stupidly determined, the heiress thinks to herself, then adds, “Please.”


Knowing she has no chance of grappling with the alpha in front of her, Akko stayed silent, cautious of what she was about to do. If there was a God awake right now, she prays that a heat tremor wouldn’t occur from the strain inside her. She just hopes the air around them was cool enough to hide the bubbling heat (and the blush around her face). 


Diana needed a ‘go’ sign. If Akko chooses to reject her, then once again, she will respect that. But as a Cavendish, she can’t let go and continue on the pain in her eyes. So she squeezes her hand, a silent plea to just let her be. 


From that, Akko gives the barest of nods, and Diana wastes no time in tugging off the soiled gauze. Finally, finally, a bit of trust started to set between them, and the heiress felt all the burdens go away, all the tension she hid from today’s errands melting off, ridding herself of the guilt she’s been harboring since she talked with Sola as all her concentration was tunneled to Akko and Akko alone.


When Diana uncovers the wound, her heart jumps a bit at the holes Akko’s canines punctured. While not at all severe, it was deep enough to last a scar. She was thankful she was skilled enough to save this, otherwise, they would’ve referred to the clinic. She gave the brunette’s hand a gentle squeeze as a green light erupts from her wand. “This shouldn’t take long,” she assures her, tapping the wand against the injury.


Akko watches the heiress’s eyes before falling to her wound, then sees how it quickly clotted back together, the magic relieving the short shocks. The green light covers most of her hand and before she knew it, the wound was gone. 


Diana smiles at her work and looks up to see Akko’s eyes widen in wonder. “Done,” she whispers and takes off the wand.


“Th… Thank you,” Akko whispers and her face brightens when she could finally move her fingers without any sort of agonizing ache. She grins up at Diana, all other thoughts being drowned out by the clear crystal pools of blue. “That was so cool, Diana!”


The heiress’s heart skips a beat. Her smile is so beautiful under the moonlight, she thinks. Maybe it was the gravity of the brunette’s smile that pulled her in. Maybe it was the wind. But all Diana knew that she wanted to lean in and meet her lips in ardor. “You’re welcome,” she whispers instead. 


As Akko continued to grin up at the heiress, she saw another emotion shift in her blue eyes; this time, one of delighted surprise. Something pulled at her gut and she became aware of the tight gentle squeeze on the base of her hand. The brunette starts pulling away and clears her throat. “Um. Anyway,” Her fingers lost contact with Diana's skin. She didn’t know if the brief glimpse of disappointment in the heiress’s eyes was a trick of her imagination or not. 


She tested her new grip and the weight of her wand on her right hand was right as rain. Not only was her hand renewed, but a fresh bolt of energy also rejuvenated her. Diana’s spell must’ve been stronger than just a scar-healing one because she could basically feel like she could run a mile. This in mind, she grins and turns to the heiress. “Give me a few minutes! I swear, I’ll go back after!” 


Like I had any other plans . Offering the gentlest of smiles, Diana raises a welcoming arm, a signal for her to go nuts. “By all means.”


The same bright smile erupts on her face and she faces the sky. She raises her wand with new-found vigor and yells out the spell, “ Ripí Aero! ” A gust of wind blows out from its tip, neither too strong nor weak, just enough to make the air around them whirl into life. She switches the spell then. “ Floká !” Following it was embers and the flames danced with the wind. Akko concentrates, willing the flames to stay lit while she yells out one last spell; “ Paleis Capama!


Diana watches rings upon rings of magic quickly bubbling up the elements, mouth open as the first spells actually get trapped in them, all while being lit and whirling around. She looks down and sees the brunette’s ecstatic look, so proud and astonished that she got it right this time. Pride swelled in her chest, smiling at the other girl.


Akko wasn’t done yet; she pulls the bubbles together into one magical cluster, the flames and winds starting to become erratic. Not yet, not yet, she thinks, her wand becoming heavy with all the spells she’s currently exerting. Her blood boiled under her skin, sweat gathering around her face but she was determined to get this right. 


When the cluster of bubbles occupied the air enough, a spark erupts from one of them and Akko knew this was the perfect time to let go. With both hands, she flicks her wrist up then down roughly, letting the elements go. The whirls of fire met the pressure of the magical bubbles and collided in an explosion of embers. The gathering wind expanded and began billowing across the field.


Diana gasps, realizing the danger first, and quickly pulls Akko by her cloak, covering her as hot winds come blasting from the pressure of magic and flame. “Ah!” She ignores the yelp and pulls the brunette’s back flush against her body, turning around and grabbing her hat to not let it fly away. 


The winds stopped quickly, however, and when she sniffed the air again, she didn’t smell the smoke from the fire spell. Instead, she smells a buzz of magic and nightly forest winds. Diana feels Akko’s head look up from under her chin and she follows the direction of her eyes.


All around them were shimmers of glamorous sparks, the mixture of flames and magic instead turning into glitters, flickering under the moonlight. It’s beautiful , Diana thinks before feeling Akko leaving her arms, looking around.


“It… It worked!” Akko whispers, excitement slowly creeping up to her face. The glimmering sparks of magic faded away before they could hit the ground, lighting the place. She jumps for joy. “It worked !”


Diana watches the brunette smile and runs across the rains of sparks, her smile so bright and jubilant, shining her face differently. The heiress felt relieved as she stared at the brunette happily dancing through the field for her successful casting. 


When Akko turns her heel to face her, Diana gasps, her heart skipping from the ecstatic glint in her red eyes and her blindingly dazzling smile. She’s beautiful .


“Diana, what do you think!?” she yells out giddily, spreading her arms and skipping from one foot to the next. “Thanks to you, I actually did this!”


It was a moment before she actually replied, her voice hard to find when such a sight was in front of her. She smiles back and stands up, looking around. “It’s very dazzling,” she murmurs in wonder. “How did you even come up with this?”


Akko’s grin turns mischievous and wow, if Diana wasn’t smitten before. “A good witch never reveals her secrets.”


Diana rolls her eyes at that but, the playful nature that the brunette was showing brings a wider smile to her face. “Oh please,” she picks up her broom. “Come now, Akko, it’s getting late. You should already be in your dorm asleep at this hour.”


The brunette pouts at her before following Diana back to Luna Nova, opting on foot. She couldn’t stay too mad as the joy of completing her act overruled it strongly, heart free as a bird. She felt more like herself, more like the Akko before her whole mess of heat. It was refreshing. 


As the duo returns, the heiress notices the deliberate distance the brunette had put between them. While not as wide as last time, the mere meter-gap between the two was still so extensive that Diana thinks Akko was still holding out some sort of distrust between them.


Her previous question comes back to her and the heiress purses her lips. When they were in somewhere more familiar now, specifically the back pathway of the north building, Diana finally gathered her courage and called, “Akko.” The brunette freezes ahead of her, looking back curiously. “Your question from before. When you asked my opinion about something coming out unexpectedly," They blink at each other. "What did you mean by that?”


Her red eyes flash briefly in surprise before they look down. Diana waits, watching to see if the brunette was going to say anything. Then strainly, she said, “I… I can’t tell you now,” Diana frowns a bit but she quickly adds, “N-Not now, at least! But someday. Okay?”


Diana stares into her eyes, watching the conviction in them. It was a promise. Her smile returns and nods. “Okay.” Relieving happiness appeared in Akko’s face and never did Diana ever feel as light as she was now. 


Akko stares at the genuine look of satisfaction on the heiress’s face and since the return of her heat tremors, she, for the first time, was actually able to look into her face without thinking once of Diana being an alpha. She didn’t see Diana ‘the de facto’ alpha, or Diana Cavendish, the ace student of Luna Nova, or even Diana Cavendish, the Night Patrol guard. The look she bore right now was just Diana; the friend Akko knew as reliable and kind before and after.


She realized then how unfair it was for Akko to always think of Diana as just another alpha she needed to avoid. In heat or not, Diana didn’t deserve being in the rotten end of her avoidance, especially when all she’s done was nothing but kind


The invitation, the insistence in healing her, even allowing her to practice out in the night.


A resolution finally comes to the brunette. Maybe, just maybe, she can tell Diana first, before everybody else, of her secret. She’ll learn first of how she was related heavily to an omega in hiding, and she’ll spare the heiress of the harsh retribution she’ll receive once she outs herself during the talent show. 


Obviously, it wouldn’t be tonight. Tomorrow, maybe. It was a long day and from the tired look on the heiress’s face, she was desperate for sleep to a point their olfactory senses must’ve taken a place in the backseat. So she turns around, wanting to continue off before one of her teammates wakes up and realizes she wasn’t there anymore. 


Two steps forward, Diana catches her attention. “Akko?” She turns around, tilting her head in question. The heiress’s eyes were full of turbulent conflict, as if she had wronged something. “If anything is bothering you, don’t hesitate to come to me for help.” There was a pregnant pause. “I know something is going on right now and I want to help you in any way I can.”


Akko blinks, unsure what she meant. Diana never looked shaken and rarely did she clarify things; she was a woman who spoke with actions rather than words, believe it or not. So seeing her looking like she’s lost her pride made Akko question, “Are you alright, Diana?”


The heiress freezes at the concerned look shot at her, mouth drying up. As much as Diana knew of Akko herself, the brunette had also taken time to notice her mannerisms too. Well… If there’s anyone Diana was willing to share her troubles with, it would be the person in front of her.


“I…” she uselessly begins, not sure where to start. She starts touching the back of her neck. “I heard of this omega rumor lately…”


Akko flinches. “O-Oh…” While she decided already to let Diana know of her dynamic sooner and accept the damaging consequences, the prospect of her finding out still runs a scared thought across her head.


“I believe I may have…” Diana continues, unable to look into the brunette’s eyes in shame. “Already encountered this omega.”


There was another pregnant pause after that. Akko blinks as disbelief was written all over her face, Diana continuing to bow her head down in shame. As her words sunk in, the brunette shakily asks, “H-How so?”


“I smelled her. In Glastonbury. Last Saturday.” Diana admits, remembering how the mysterious person’s scent invaded her sense so sensually. She hears Akko gasp and Diana sighs. The other girl must’ve realized how crummy of an alpha she really was. “I-I genuinely didn’t think it actually belonged to a student from Luna Nova, alright? It’s just that…” Diana breathes in deeply and runs a hand through her hair, trying to mentally prepare herself for an embarrassing admission. “I never properly smelled an omega before.”


Akko’s eyes widened in surprise. Diana’s never smelled an omega before? She thinks, watching at how the heiress looked so conflicted at the moment like she was having an epiphany. Something rose in the brunette’s chest as she had realized that it was actually her whom Diana had her first true whiff of omega pheromones. 


That… was something Akko liked, for some reason. 


When Diana looks up, she finds Akko staring at her and she flushes in embarrassment. By the Nines, Diana probably looked like a creepy virgin. “I promise, I know what omegas smell like!” she clarifies, to which Akko flinches. “I have met omegas before but… but I have yet one so… potent .”


Akko cringes at the word. Potent makes you sound like a prude, she thinks. “H-How did you know it really was an omega?” She asks, trying to feign innocence, as she always does whenever she’s on thin ice. 


“I…” Now Diana really was embarrassed. She palms her face. “I consulted our omega classmate about it…”


Now the brunette really was surprised. Of course, about the fact that Diana consulted another person about what she smelled but Akko was more into that fact that, “You asked Sola !?”


Diana palms her eyes. “Who else would have I talked about this?” 


True. There were only a handful of people here in Luna Nova that genuinely knew omegas, and more than half of them were probably biased alphas. Okay, so Akko has to give Diana credit for picking the safest option of consultation, but with how Sola’s teammate twins were so protective of her, the tired look on Diana’s face made more sense than it should. 


“Okay then… So why is it a problem for you?” Akko asks, fidgeting with her hands underneath her cloak. 


Diana sighs again, rubbing her eyes tiredly. She looks down at the dirt, guilt holding her heart again. “I was there, Akko. Sola had concluded that the omega had been in heat, judging by how I reacted to it.”


The brunette’s breath hitches in her throat, fear boiling inside her. But when she smelled the alpha in front of her again, it wasn’t aroused. She’s… guilty , Akko realized. Her scent turned damp with remorse and she suddenly had the need to comfort the alpha.


“I was there…” Diana continues. “I was there, yet I hadn’t made any moves to help her. I could have easily helped her, Akko, and she wouldn’t have had to deal with these awful rumors. She wouldn’t have dealt with the pack. I am an alpha but,” she pulls her hand away to look at her palm. “That wasn’t a reason for me to neglect a person in need. I wish I helped her, instead of having to witness all these obscene rumors and assumptions.”


Akko’s jaw dropped and an influx of changing emotions shifted through her. Her heart hammered. She couldn't believe what she was seeing; Diana Cavendish, the de facto alpha of Luna Nova, which is a school that valued alphas and treated omegas like dirt, looked guilty for not helping her. Her! An omega in hiding, just days away from losing control of her body to a cycling fever. 


The emotion depicted in the heiress’s eyes, along with the regret in her scent, convinced the brunette she wasn’t lying. No alpha would ever feel guilty for an omega; at least, not one from Luna Nova. It would’ve been more understandable if Diana hadn’t thought of the rumours as such, given that she’s such a highly-acclaimed alpha who has business to do. 


Just how long had Diana been agonizing over this? It made Akko think. Was Diana actually sympathizing with the mysterious omega? She didn’t have a reason to, yet here she was, baring her heart to her about how she wishes she could’ve been a better alpha. 


The sharp scent of regret, the unhealthy look of guilt… She made the heiress like this. It was Akko who made her feel like an inadequate alpha, which contradicted everything she had ever done to her. 


Sorrowfully, Akko then realizes how much of a horrible friend she was. She was just as racist as Amanda or Chloe, just as close-minded as Chariot, choosing to think all alphas were enemies instead of friends, with Sucy being the only exception. She hid away just to save her own skin. That wasn’t like her. That was the shittiest thing she could have done; sure, she may fear for her chastity, but what worth is it when she couldn’t even be a good friend to the people who valued her? Or at least, used to value her?


Her secret be damned; Akko was going to fix this right now .


Diana hears fast footsteps to her front and suddenly, arms were thrown across her neck, almost making her stumble back as a warm yet familiar sensation grasped her, squeezing tightly. Akko was hugging her, after for what feels like years. 


“Don’t worry, Diana,” She hears her voice right under her left ear, feeling Akko’s breath tickling her shoulder. “The omega is fine, she’s in the safest place she could be.” 


I’m right in your arms, after all .


The heiress freezes at her words, too shocked to say anything but a small, “Really?”


She feels Akko nod. She smelled like sweat, the scent of the magical sparks, smoke, and fresh grass clinging to her hair and cloak. “I promise you, she is. You don’t have to feel guilty about yourself,” she hugs her tighter. “It wasn’t your fault, Diana. Even if you hadn’t helped her then, I’m sure you can now.”


By healing my hand.


“And missing one event doesn’t lessen your value at all,” Akko slowly detaches herself from Diana’s body, hands grasping at her shoulders instead. 


You’re the kindest alpha I know.


“And besides,” She looks up at her and Akko sees the stars gathering in those blue pools, the color numbing her brain, the alpha’s warmth drowning out the cold breeze of October. She smiles at the alpha, not in anything else but appreciation. “You’re here with me right now, right? That makes up a lot of your misdeeds. So… thank you.”