Disclaimer: I DO NOT OWN SLAYERS. So there. ^_^

- JUST ANOTHER AU FIC -

Chapter 1 : The Merger, The Meeting, NAMAGOMI!!!!

"I hope this is the right thing," Filia Ul Copt said for what must have been the third time that day. She casually surveyed the dress she wore, a dark blue velvet off-shoulder gown, high heels, a pair of diamond earrings. Though vanity was frowned upon by her family, she knew she looked radiant. The heads that turned to acknowledge her as she stepped off the limo she had borrowed from her friend told her so.

A red carpet. The president of the corporation, the host of the party, had a flair for posh, super-for-the-rich-and famous-only celebrations. She could recognize quite a few faces in the arriving and already partying crowd from television shows and movies. Two hotel attendants dressed in crisp red suits swiftly came to her side.

"Miss Filia Ul Copt?" One attendant inquired.

"Yes," she nodded, and the two bowed politely, gesturing for her to follow them.

Calmly she moved through the crowd.

The cocktail party was in full swing. The large and spacious hall where it was being held was lit by a hundred or so tiny crystal chandeliers. Voices drifted lightly over the clinking of wine glasses, quite a few stopping polite conversation as the blonde in the blue dress came into view. A slight blush appeared on her cheeks, noticing the appreciative glances they gave her. She focused her attention to the two attendants escorting her.

She kept her head high, back straight, a true heiress of the Karyu clan. Years of training and good breeding had taught her to move with an elegant, dignified grace.

They came to the end of the hall. The archway supported thick glass doors, sliding apart as she and her escorts stepped forward, and into the other room. 'This is it,' she thought to herself. She was going to meet with the president of Wolfpack Corporation.

It went against the grain, but if it was what it will take to save the family business... How in Ceipheid's name had she gotten into this mess, anyway?


"No, no, and NO."

"But Filia--"

"I will NOT sell out." Filia Ul Copt, last surviving daughter of the Ul Copt family, present owner of Dragon Crest Tea and Pottery Industries, shook her head firmly and with an air of finality.

"Fine, fine," the small, red-haired woman before her shrugged. "But you have to understand, Filia, it's the only way for small companies like ours to survive."

"No." She glared defiantly at her financial adviser, family lawyer, business associate and best friend, Lina Inverse. Said redhead batted an eyelash at the stubborn woman.

"Filia, dear, please listen to reason," she advised. "There's no way the company's going to hold together for the next six months. This is a win-lose situation. And the only way we'll win is if--"

The blonde fumed. "But this--!" She struggled for an appropriate description, found it, and fumed redder with outrage. "This is just -- PREPOSTEROUS!!!"

The stack of legal papers Lina had heaped recently on her desk scattered on the carpeted floor of what served as her office in the three-story brick company building. Discernible from all the fine print were the words "merger" and "sale of legal ownership".

"It's not like it's gonna change everything, Fi," the younger woman reasoned. "You'll still be the administrative head of your company. The corporation's willing to back us up, is the good part of the deal." Lina crossed her arms, slightly rumpling her smart red and black business suit, and smiled saucily at her friend.

"But it's against everything my family stands for!" Filia continued to protest. And it was, in a way, true. For centuries the proud, respected Ul Copt family of Saillune have run and owned Dragon Crest. The company, originally an antique shop, expanding into a chain of small stores specializing in tea and pottery articles, could be traced back to its founder, great-great-great-elder grand-daddy Saichuro-sama, passed on to Milgasia I, and to a host of other elders before her, until ownership came to the willing hands of Filia.

The not so able hands, she found herself bitterly admitting, considering the mess her family business was in.

A mess Lina was attempting to solve by selling ownership of Dragon Crest to a much larger corporation. The redhead waved a stack of papers she had extricated from her briefcase. "Let's face the facts, Filia. The company's not doing well for a few years now. We've generated considerably less profits than can be financially acceptable. Two of our outlets in other cities has been forced to shut down." She ticked the statements off with her fingers. "Add that to debts in all directions, with the bank threatening to sue if we don't balance our accounts soon. This is the only way, Filia." She looked helplessly at her friend, laying thick on the charm. From the slightly hesitant gaze she returned to her, she knew the blonde was about to give in.

"What does Zelgadis-san say about it?" Filia began carefully.

"He's cool with it," Lina assured her.

At her statement, the blond woman relaxed somewhat. Zelgadis Greywords, Lina's co-partner in their law firm, and a good friend of the Ul Copt family, was admittedly more dependable and... trustworthy than the redhead. If Zelgadis thought the deal was good, she could just go along with it, and save the family business. Or face bankruptcy.

Filia closed her eyes.

"Well?" Lina asked her one more time. "You have the last word on this, Fi."

The blond reopened her eyes, gazing defeatedly at her friend. "Alright."


And *that*, she thought again, was why she was here. Lina had arranged for her to meet the president of the corporation who was buying out Dragon Crest. Wolfpack. Somehow the name sounded familiar. Filia had then shrugged it off. Her friend wouldn't tell her the name of the owner of the corporation, she said he had requested it himself. Filia had protested briefly about that, but as Lina had gone over the terms of the merger, she had to admit the deal was quite reasonable enough.

She walked purposefully into the room. The walls were dark green marble with wood paneling, the few furniture in the room adding a minimalistic feel to it. Elegant, stylish, and very expensive. A few other people were in the room, all of them richly-dressed, chatting with each other. Waiters passed around trays of hors-d'eouvres to the guests.

"This way, please." The attendant said to her, leading her to the center of the room. Three or four men in Armani business suits stood there, blocking her view. They appeared to be engaged in conversation with another man, tall, with purple hair. Purple hair. The color tugged at her memory, but she shrugged it off.

The conversation stopped as she approached closer. The two attendants led her forward, and the four men moved away. Now she could fully see the tall man behind them. The president of the Wolfpack Corporation, apparently.

He was smiling, eyes closed. Straight purple hair almost reaching his broad shoulders. A dark business suit, Italian penny loafers. He turned, acknowledging the blond woman's arrival.

She froze. No. No way...

"Sir," one attendant addressed the man respectfully, bowing low. "This is Miss Filia Ul Copt, present owner of Dragon Crest Tea and Pottery Industries."

"Miss Ul Copt," the other intoned, giving a matching courteous bow, "Let me introduce to you Mr. Xellos Metallium, president of Wolfpack Corporation."

Done with the introductions, the two escorts stepped respectfully away, leaving the two company owners to their own devices. The conversation around them stopped, the guests quietly observing the interplay that was taking place in the center of the room.

The purple-haired man grinned wider, extending one hand to the lady before him. "Ano, Filia, is it? So tell me, how is old Karyu these days?"

Her eyes widened, recognizing who it was. The person who was buying out her family's business was... none other than...

"NAMAGOMI!!!!"

The blonde's high-pitched scream resounded through the conference room, invariably damaging the eardrums of the richly-dressed persons listening into the conversation. A string of other words flew after that, something like cockroach, Mazoku scum, and creep alternated by shrieks and gasps of agitation.

The verbal spectacle ended, leaving a still clearly agitated young woman in a blue dress facing a sweatdropping business lord, eternal grin twitching ever-so-visibly at the assault. "......... Namagomi.... ?" He began.

Filia caught her breath, glaring at him. "How dare you!!!!" She huffed once more, eyes narrowing, remembering a certain redhead who had apparently *tricked* her into striking a deal with this... this...

"Miss Lina!!!!!" She screamed once more, and ran angrily out the door, out of the building, leaving a cloud trail of carpet dust behind her, and a still agitated Xellos twitching at the center of the room.

The other guests could only stare at this disturbingly unforgettable spectacle. Quite a few blinked twice, then blinked again for good measure, the scene just too... freaky. They shrugged, then turned around, returning to their previous activities, but still somewhat mindful that the host of the party was standing there, going twitch, twitch.

"Namagomi?!" Xellos repeated, staring through closed eyes to the spot where Filia stood not a moment before.


Author's Rants: OK, so you must be saying, what the heck am I doing with another NEW fic when I haven't even gotten around to finish my other one?!?!!! Gomen. I can't help it. This is severely counter-productive behavior, I know. ^_^ Anyways, thanks for taking some time to read this, and enjoy whatever literary exhileration there is left unannihilated here.

DEJA VU, ANYONE? ^_^