Total Mayhem: Chapter One - A Stunning Discovery
By Ptath and Lady Raina
Betaed by Silver Rayne
Inspired by our muse Thalia
Author Notes: This story begins two months after the Elders of Esset are defeated. Aya-chan and Sakura are both working in the Koneko and the men of Weiss are presumed dead.
Disclaimer: We do not own Weiss. Even if we could, simple self-preservation would dictate we stay far, far away.
Sakura stretched as she and Aya-chan took advantage of a lull in customers at the Koneko. She grinned remembering the horde of schoolgirls that had flocked to the shop when Aya-san and the other boys had worked here. When it became obvious that the boys were not returning, the girls had slowly drifted away, only to be replaced with less energetic, but equally numerous boys.
"Sakura," Aya-chan called over her shoulder, "can you get more pots from the back, please? I have more orders than I know what to do with right now." The younger girl nodded and headed to the back room. As she was pulling down more pots, the door jingled and Aya-chan called out in greeting.
"Irramashe," Aya-chan exclaimed enthusiastically, "can I help you?"
Just as Aya-chan was greeting the new customers, Sakura emerged from the backroom with the pots. She carefully carried them to the table before glancing at the customers. When she looked up, the last pot fell to the floor with a loud crash.
"Oh, so you're working here, are you?" asked one of the new customers. "Heh, didn't think I'd see you again. But, I suppose that if we were to run into each other, this would be the place."
Sakura's face paled gazing at the orange haired man with growing fear. She could barely steady her trembling hands.
"Sakura," Aya-chan's voice suddenly intruded, "do you know them? Introduce us!"
She quickly spun on her heal, her expression dark. "You don't want to know these demons, Aya-chan. These are the men that kidnapped you from the hospital and almost got you killed!"
Aya-chan's eyes widened at this and she turned to face the men once more. Pondering them for a moment, she remembered everything Sakura and the red-haired woman, Manx, had told her about the circumstances surrounding her awakening. Then the alarmed expression slowly transformed into a smile.
"I'm so happy to meet you," she beamed happily, "if it wasn't for you, I don't think I would have been able to wake up!"
The men gawked at her for a moment before the orange haired man burst out laughing. "I suppose that's one way of looking at it." He grinned, "I'm Schuldig, and this lump of white coal is Brad Crawford. Just so you know, he hates his last name. Just call him Brad."
Glaring at Schuldig, Crawford turned towards the blue-haired girl. "Aya-san, I'm pleased to meet you at last…awake, I mean. I must apologize, though, for those unfortunate circumstances."
At these words, Sakura started, quickly growing angry. "Don't listen to them, Aya-chan," she hissed, "Don't forget that they killed your brother!"
"I haven't forgotten," Aya-chan said above a whisper, "but I also haven't forgotten that they suffered too. I doubt they would have acted as they did if it wasn't for the Elders. I won't let their mistakes cloud my perception of them. I'm sure they've grown since then." She paused before grinning ear to ear. "The mark of a truly great doctor is compassion and empathy." The grin turned into a smirk. "And I intend to become great."
At these words, Schuldig laughed again, draping an arm around her shoulders. "Thank you, dear lady, for your kind words," He winked, the playful glint in his blue eyes barely dampened. "I can see why your brother was so obsessed with your well being."
Aya-chan giggled and twirled out from under the German's arm. "Yes, nii-san did tend to go to extremes didn't he?" As she spun, her foot skidded on a puddle of water. A cry of alarm escaped from her lips, arms wind-milling as she began to fall. Before she hit the ground, Crawford dove forward in a timely save and caught her.
"Yow," she cried, "thank you, Brad! Brad?"
Twisting in Crawford's grasp, she looked at him in alarm. "Ahh, Schuldig, I broke Brad-san!"
As Aya-chan's words penetrated his mind, Schuldig's eyes grew wide. Looking at the American precog, he could only stare. The usually cool and collected Crawford had frozen, a wild look on his face. His eyes stared ahead, filled with shock, and nothing the others could do would rouse him.
Finally, before the afternoon rush could arrive, the girls decided to close the Koneko for the day, and quickly pulled down the heavy metal gate. Sakura, still nervous, led the German and stunned American upstairs into the kitchen. She hurriedly filled a kettle with water and put it on the stove to boil. As she darted around the small kitchen, Schuldig concentrated on Crawford, trying to draw him out of his inanimate state.
Despite the telepath's best efforts, the precog remained immobile, his mind whirling around the vision he had had when he caught Aya-chan. A vision that had included Aya-chan in a beautiful wedding dress. When the said girl finally entered the kitchen, her presence registered in his stunned mind and he quickly straightened in his chair.
"Oh, Brad," the gentle girl asked worriedly, "You look like you've seen a ghost! Can I get you anything?"
At this, Crawford gave himself a quick shake, trying to drag his mind back to the present. "I'm quite alright, Miss Fujimiya. A passing thought decided it wanted to take up permanent residence and took a great deal of persuasion to leave."
Schuldig nodded to himself slightly, before sending Crawford a silent question, 'A vision?' he asked. 'Involving Abyssinian's sister?'
'Yes,' the American replied, 'it was…' Here Oracle paused, trying to shape his confused thoughts. 'It was rather unexpected. I don't want to say too much at the moment, but if Abyssinian's alive that future won't come to pass. He would never let that future take place, even if he had to lock his sister up to prevent it.'
Schuldig's eyes widened slightly. He couldn't imagine anything that could drive the leader of Weiss to imprison his sister. Whatever Crawford had seen, it must have been a fate worse than what the Elders of Esset had intended.
Sakura watched the men closely, positive that the orange haired demon (as she thought of him) was using his powers to converse with his leader. She shuddered internally, fearful of what the men of Schwarz might be plotting.
'We're not plotting anything, mädchen,' the telepath sent, 'nor did we come here with any specific purpose. We were in the area and decided to come by for old time's sake.' The telepath paused once more before giving the girl a mischievous grin. 'Or rather, I wanted to come for old time's sake and Crawford agreed just to make me shut up.'
Sakura leveled a cold stare at the German, refusing to be drawn in. Despite her obvious animosity, the four began to talk, drawing on their shared exposure to Aya-chan's brother as a safe starting point.
Finally, as the clock drifted towards 3:45, Schuldig signaled Brad. "Nagi will be getting out of school soon," he reminded him, then silently added, 'and you know he hasn't fully recovered from that mess with the Elders two months ago.'
'Yes,' the leader of Schwarz replied, 'I remember. You go ahead, there's one last thing I want to do before leaving.'
The German sized up his leader curiously, but rose obediently. Sakura followed and began to lead him to the back door. Once he was certain that the telepath was out of ear shot, Brad switched his attention to Aya-chan, rose to his feet and bowed politely.
"Miss Fujimiya," he began, "Despite your kind words, our actions two months ago did cause the death of your brother. I know there's nothing I can do to make up for that, but would you allow me to make an effort towards that by joining me for dinner tomorrow night?"
Edited July 2, 2006:
Dialogue throughout edited to match standards of later chapters as well as plot lines developed at a later date. For a further explanation, see our Live Journal.
End notes: This is the first collaboration between Ptath and Lady Raina and we hope you like the story so far. The next chapter will continue things between Aya-chan and Crawford and set the stage for Weiss's not-exactly-triumphant return.
We would also like any thoughts you have on the story so far, so please hit that little button and let lose! Flames will be given to Farfarello to play with, constructive criticism will be carefully considered and happy reviews will (hopefully) speed up future chapters.