School of Lyrical
Chapter 1 – Stand By
Fate put down the pencil, shut the book on her desk, and leaned back in her chair to revile in the joy of completed homework. She glanced over to the digital clock resting on her nightstand, "9:00" was written in green on the screen. The blonde sighed, it had taken her nearly four hours to finish all the homework; try as she might she still struggled with kanji and the essay had taken forever. Still, now it was done and she felt like a nice, long bath before bed. Fate had started getting undressed when Bardiche toned in.
"Sir, incoming call." Stated the device in its deep robotic voice, "Two-way video request by Enforcer Juril. Orders sir?"
She couldn't help but sigh, Rune had some knack for calling at all the wrong times.
"Let her through Bardiche." Replied Fate slipping her uniform shirt and quickly buttoning it
With a quiet 'beep' a flat circle popped into existence a few inches above her crowded desk; in the center of the circle was a pale-skinned and silver-haired young woman, her visible silver eye looked to Fate's burgundy. Though she couldn't see it well, a blue eye could be made out through the silver bang.
"You didn't strike me as the kind to wear black lace Testarossa." Observed Rune glancing down, her mouth turning into a sly smirk, "Thanks though, you just won me the pool."
Fate's face flushed scarlet although she attempted to look annoyed, she could tell it was only making this more amusing as she hastily rebuttoned.
"So why the call Rune?" asked Fate as she tried to calm herself
"Oh you know, just checking in on you." There was a pause as she took a drag from her cigarette, "And I might have a request. Maybe. But we'll get to that. Perhaps."
"Went to school and just finished an essay. Was about to go take a bath, but then you called and now I'm here." Stated Fate unamused
"I see. And here someone might think you were interrupted during playtime." The silver-haired grinned at Fate's annoyed yet flustered face, "Joking aside. I've got a vacation and I was thinking of visiting that unadministered world you like so much."
"You wouldn't need to ask… You need a place to stay, don't you?" groaned Fate when she caught on
"And here I thought I would have to spell it out. But hey, if it's a hassle maybe I'll just go to Basil, should be nice and warm now…"
"I'll go check with Mom." Sighed Fate in defeat, she really needed to learn to reject friends
"Good girl. Just call Crea and she'll patch it through. Hear from ya soon Testarossa."
With an identical 'beep' as before the circle vanished, Fate rubbed her head as she left her room in search of her foster mother. A quick search found her downstairs cooking.
"Mom, could Rune stay here during her vacation?"
"Her? Well… Maybe if you tell her no smoking inside. The things Leti has told me about her are not very comforting Fate."
"Well no one is perfect Mom…"
"I know, I know. Just tell her that and let her know she has to go to school with you too."
"W-what? Why bring her to school!?" gasped Fate, already imagining everything that could go wrong with that
"She can't just lounge about all day! She's too young to be wandering around about during school. I'll take care of getting her all set up, just go pass along the message."
As Fate suspected Rune was not keen on the spending her vacation in school; she complained that it's not a vacation then. It looked like Rune would just go elsewhere until Fate mentioned that she could meet Nanoha and Hayate. The chance to meet the famed Aces seemed enough for her to suffer school. At least until Fate mentioned the uniform…
"And here I thought you just had a closet full of the same outfit. They expect me to wear that daily?" Rune had a frown on her face and the lit cigarette hung from her mouth
"It isn't that bad Rune… I've never heard you complain about it before."
"On someone else I don't care. But I don't do skirts. At least not so short."
"Well then just ask Mom to get you the boy's uniform. I know some girls do that."
"Alright, alright. I'll go call Lindy. Later Testarossa."
A 'beep' and Fate was again alone. She glanced over at her clock and sighed, the display read, "10:00". So much for that bath. Maybe she'd get back at Rune by stealing her cigarettes.
By the morning Fate learned Lindy had arranged everything and Rune would be arriving in the evening. Which gave ample time to mention the unexpected visit.
"So she's a mage too?" asked Suzuka in her soft, curious voice
"Well, yes. She is fairly skilled I'd say."
"I've never heard you mention her before Fate-chan… How did you meet?" inquired Nanoha
"She's just a fellow Enforcer is all… It's kind of a story, really…"
"Well what is she like? She's Midchildan right?" added Hayate
"Er, well… I guess she isn't exactly very… Socialable. I know she smokes and drinks… Gambles too I think." Stated Fate nervously, she could feel the opinion of Rune plummeting
"I'm not so sure Fate-chan. She sounds like trouble to me." Pointed out Arisa knowingly
"I'm sure Rune-chan will be nice enough! After all she is Fate-chan's friend which makes her my friend too!" commented Nanoha happily
"I guess as long as she doesn't come to school drunk…" noted Arisa bitterly
"I'm sure Lindy-san will tell her everything. You worry too much Arisa-chan." Said Hayate dismissively
"Hayate-chan is right! I can't wait to meet her Fate-chan." Smiled Suzuka
"It's too bad she didn't tell you sooner Fate-chan. What do you think we should do to welcome her…?"
As the group of friends neared school they drifted off into a more normal conversation about gifts. During the whole time Fate just wondered how she ever agreed to let Rune meet all her friends.
Why do I feel I'll regret this whole thing…?
"Fate-chan, what does Rune-chan like?" asked Nanoha interrupting Fate's thoughts
"What does she like…? Well, uh…" the blonde had to pause to gather her thoughts, "I guess aside from her habits… I think she likes sweets."
"You 'think' Fate-chan? Aren't you two friends?" inquired Arisa suspiciously
"Well…" started Fate nervously
Fate didn't have time to answer as just then the girls could hear in the distance a bell ringing. They all jumped slightly.
"Ah the bell! We're going to be late!"