A/N: Set around The Shadow Rising. Negima-wise, this might be during or post Magical World Arc. Definitely after the Festival…

Beyond the Wheel

by Shadow Crystal Mage

Chapter 1: In Which There Is Again No Explanation As To How They Got There

Disclaimer: Negima belongs to Ken Akamatsu. The Wheel of Time belongs to James Oliver Rigney Jr. Brian Sanderson is doing an acceptable job.

It wasn't the first time Rand Al'Thor, or any of the Aiel with him, had seen dead Trollocs. It wasn't the first time they'd seen a lot of dead Trollocs. It wasn't the first time they'd seen enough dead Trollocs to make the landscape go black.

It was the first time they'd seen enough dead Trollocs to make the landscape go black apparently killed by a child with a stick, and a slightly older girl with a slim sword practically taller than she was. The scouts had reported channeling when they'd returned, but there was none going on now. They'd arrived in time to see the girl cutting up almost a dozen Trollocs with three easy slashes, before cleaning her blade of blood with a flick of her wrist and resheathing her monstrous– to the Aiel, almost literally– blade.

Standing on a ridge atop his horse, Rand could see the girl apparently looking about frantically, before beginning to wave her arms frantically, unintelligible words just barely reaching him in the thin air of the Waste. She was clearly highly upset about something.

"What in the Light…?" Mat said as he rode up next to Rand, wiping his forehead with the back of his hand. His bare head glistened with sweat. "Blood and ashes… What happened here?"

"A slaughter, from the looks of it", Rhuarc said, stepping up. "There's nothing but them and Trolloc dead for miles around. The Maidens said there was channeling done. It looks like it." All over the ground were scorch marks and craters filed with and surrounded by dead Shadowspawn.

They watched as, down bellow, the two children apparently noticed them. The girl's hands clearly dropped to her weapon in suspicion, but the boy appeared excited, waving his arms as if to get their attention and tugging on the girls' sleeves to try and drag her towards them. They negotiated the charnel field with seeming reticence, as if suddenly squeamish. As they got closer, they could clearly make out their clothing. The younger child wore a tan robe with a hood, while the girl, carrying what appeared to be a similar robe folded over one arm, was scandalously and inappropriately dressed in a short red skirt that fell well short of her knees, dark stockings the extended well past said knees but fell short of the skirt's hem, a white blouse with long sleeves pulled to her elbows that seemed to follow the contours of her body very closely, and what appeared to be some kind of strange black scarf tied under the collar of her blouse that seemed to serve no purpose but decoration. Even as they watched, she pulled it off and tied it around her head.

Rand hesitated a moment, then spurred his horse to meet them, causing a hundred Jindo Aiel to follow.

The smaller child– a boy, Rand made out, but with such wide eyes and delicate features he was cute enough to be a girl– waved an arm enthusiastically as they approached, the other using the stick he carried to help him along. "Ahoy!" he cried as they came close. His accent was strange, but definitely not Aiel. It sounded vaguely Andoran, but they couldn't quite place it.

Rand exchanged bemused looks with Mat. Ahoy? Did it look like they were on a boat? Still, Rand allowed himself an amused look as he raised a hand in greeting. "Ahoy," he said. "You're a long way from anywhere, child. What business have you so far in the Three-Fold Land?"

The boy looked blank, blinking at Rand curiously. "Um, do the words 'Egypt' or 'Megalomesembria' mean anything to you?" he asked, sounding like he knew what the answer would be and was dreading it.

There was no need to exchange glances, though Rand almost felt like it. He knew everyone else around him was doing it. "No, not a thing."

The boy visibly sagged, clutching his staff with both hands. "Darn it," he muttered, and Rand wondered what clothing repair had to do with anything. "It's happened again. We're lost."

"Negi-sensei," the girl with him said urgently, and Rand instantly focused his attention towards her. Her eyes were wild, not with fear but with desperation, like a starving hawk frantically searching for the world's last rabbit. "We have to get going and look for the others! The desert is dangerous! What if something happened to Oujo-sama? She could dehydrate herself, or get attacked by some kind of wild animal, or fall down a ravine…" The girl shuddered as if the possibilities were too horrible to mention, and she suddenly threw back her head, eyes wide but unfocussed, yelling at the top of her voice and causing everyone to involuntarily reach for their weapons. "KONOKA OUJO-SAMA!!! WHERE ARE YOU!!!"

"Setsuna-san, calm down," the boy said, dropping his staff as he reached out to shake her shoulders. He seemed to be surprisingly strong for his size, because he managed it quite well. "Getting panicked won't help anyone. Settle down!" His voice was concerned and trying to be authoritative, and Rand realized with a start he felt responsible for the girl.

The girl dropped to her knees, shoulders shaking as the boy held her to his chest, patting her comfortingly. "It's all right," they could hear him say. "We've gone through this before. We can do it again." He looked up apologetically at Rand. "I'm sorry, but things have been very trying of late. I'm Negi Springfield, and this is Setsuna. Er, Setsuna Sakurazaki, I suppose. We're… lost. Very lost. We've lost our companions as well, and that's been weighing on our minds. I don't suppose you've seen a group of girls about Setsuna's age wandering in the desert just now?"

- To be continued...

A/N: Been meaning to write Wheel of Time stuff for a long while, back when people were still doing Ranma crossovers of it. Besides the cracky Callandor Short Fics, I haven't really been able to. The scale's been too epic. But here's a start…

Setsuna might actually be able to beat Lan in a fight, straight up skills, no frills included. I believe she's that good. But best not to underestimate someone Aiel, and Warders think is Death incarnate…

As for the possible language barrier… MAGIC!

Negi sounds Andoran because in the Audiobooks, Gawyne sounds British to me. If The Creator had specified a specific kind of accent for Andor, I don't know it. Would appreciate not being told it, either.

Please review, C&C welcome.

Until next time, this is Shadow, signing off.