I am trying to do romance, as this is a wedding giftfic for execharmonious and rubyprism.

"…And something romantic involving alchemy would be appropriate, I'd think."

That was the prompt. Sadly, I can't seem to do anything but crack at the moment, thus, I have started writing so that at least there is something.

This is the slightly expurgated version for fanfictiondotnet. If you want the real version, it's on the mana-khemia-fic livejournal group.

Disclaimer: I don't own Mana Khemia or any associated properties. Gust and the other rightful owners and distributers do. No infringement intended or money made: please don't sue.

The second most… alright, the third most traumatizing aftermath of that night was Flay deciding that he'd missed his true calling as a troubadour and beginning to serenade Renee nightly from the roof of the girls' dormitory in hopes that she would realize that her true calling was to join him as his Mistress of Evil. Normally that wouldn't have been too bad, because Roxis slept in the boys' dormitory and anything that kept Flay far, far away from him was appreciated, except that Tony had kept bursting in demanding that Vayne do something about this, and Roxis not only hadn't wanted to know about it but really didn't want to know about what happened the fifth night, when Tony had somehow managed to make both Renee and Flay fall in love with him and had come into Roxis' room, when Roxis had been trying to sleep after, ahem, exercise, demanding that Vayne do something about it.

Or Roxis guess that was what Tony would have said if Renee hadn't clubbed him over the head with the flat of her blade and then helped Flay drag him off back to Flay's bedroom, since it was just down the hall.

Thankfully, Al Revis' dormatories had very thick walls. Not that it wasn't very obvious what had happened, when Flay waltzed into the workshop the next morning with a smile proclaiming that he had just gotten laid, causing Anna…

Well, maybe that entire chain of events was the second most traumatizing aftermath of the night Isolde got drunk with the Vice Principal.

Normally, Isolde was a solitary drinker, staring at an old portrait of Theofratus and nursing glasses of something, going through large numbers of handkerchiefs in a maudlin fashion. However, the Vice Principal had needed a stiff drink after getting stuck with Flay for another year, and had as good as dragged Isolde and Renee along to a girls' night out, due to misery loving company.

Of course, they had ended up arguing about Isolde and her need to get a life and stop picking on Theofratus' poor bastard son.

Or his incredibly dangerous unnatural mana creation. Either way. "You need to move on with your life! So he was a talented alchemist. So? You have years ahead of you, Isolde. Years." Ernentraud clicked her tongue disapprovingly and gave Isolde a hearty slap on the back.

Isolde just sobbed into her glass. "Like you and Bernard…"

"You are right. I must set a good example for the junior faculty. Or else Zeppel will never grow a spine." The Vice Principal finding a riding crop somewhere and dragging off the Principal and Professor Zeppel was the second (or third) most traumatizing aftermath of that night. At least Roxis and Nikki hadn't seen her with them and a ruler instead of a whip when they'd run to her office for help. They'd never be able to look at quill pens the same way as it was, without dragging other scholastic tools into it.

Because this was the first time Isolde had told the truth about Vayne in front of Renee, and Renee not only didn't want to leave Al Revis and leave Isolde behind trying to oppose a dangerous mana, but Renee was distant enough from the situation to do what Isolde should have done and think like an alchemist.

Isolde had been trying to have some climactic confrontation with Vayne that would allow her to overcome her issues with Theofratus, even though she knew very well that there was no way she could possibly win as long as Vayne didn't want her to.

Renee was a member of the Student Disciplinary Committee, and knew where they kept the confiscated love potion recipes. She was also a skilled enough alchemist to derive a Loveless Potion from one of those recipes. Her intention had been to make Vayne and everyone around him want him gone, or dead, causing him to essentially self-destruct.

Unfortunately, she'd cared enough about executing her plan perfectly to synthesize a potion with the highest possible ether level. There were very few recipes at Al Revis that produced the rare 'reversal' ether effect, since the last thing anyone needed was to use a healing potion on themselves and find out only too late that it actually did damage.

Instead, Renee had created a potion that made the target like things more and applied it to the Mana of liking things, or wanting them anyway. While Vayne was inside the area of effect of Al Revis' mana-strengthening glyphs. When his wants and desires were everyone's, not just his own.

The effects had hit those closest to Vayne and most vulnerable to their impulses first. Jess had buried himself in bombs and experiments. This wasn't new, so no one noticed anything. Nor did anyone notice Flay disappearing into the school's underground and forming a delinquent army. At least not until they stormed the administration building unopposed since the faculty were otherwise occupied, and that was a little late. Anna had gotten Flay to sneak her into an area off-limits to even the junior members of the workshop, let alone freshmen like her, and gone on some kind of training spree, filleting every monster in sight. Nikki had started singing up a storm.


And Vayne had started looking at Roxis and looking away and blushing and looking utterly, cutely lost, which had simply given Roxis no choice but to sweep everything off of the worktable, push Vayne back onto it, and proceed to do something that his mana had called 'making out.'

From the context, that had probably meant kissing, or possibly a more full-contact version of kissing, but Roxis had thought it had something to do with 'make-up.'

Because if there was one thing even better than… alright, as good as… alright, almost as good as…

Well, alright, it wasn't as good as making out with him, but it had been fun to force (even though it really hadn't taken much force) Vayne into woman's clothing and watch Eital snicker at him for a change.

Although that hadn't happened until after Jess had blithely asked them to move so she could have some space to powder the canone rock, tapped Roxis on the shoulder and repeated the question when she was pointedly ignored, and then pushed Roxis to the side to make room when he ignored her again.

Surprised, they had somehow tumbled off the edge of the table. The indignity was made somewhat less bad by the fact Roxis had landed on Vayne.

"Aww, that's not very nice." As a ghost, there was nothing left for Pamela to do but watch. If that wasn't what she wanted, she wouldn't have stayed a ghost for this long.

Eital was also rather disappointed.

"Roxis?" Vayne wondered as Roxis pulled him along. One of these workshops was empty...

Roxis ignored Vayne's inane chatter, obviously, instead pulling him in and slamming him against the door once it closed behind him.

Vayne's next, "Roxis…" was a more intelligent comment.

"Right." Roxis shouldn't put him up against the door to the hallway, people might hear. The table was better, so he pulled Vayne over to that.

It was better both for the better illusion of privacy and because he had wanted to pin Vayne down and examine him like a specimen for, for…

Vayne gasped, arching his neck as Roxis bit it, not hard enough to cut or bruise but hard enough Vayne felt it.

"Mine," said Roxis, replacing his teeth with his left hand as his right caught Vayne's wrists. He didn't growl it, or shout it, or murmur it. Rather, the word was an almost-calm statement, one that he would brook no opposition to.

He could see, could feel that statement, that claim, strike a chord in Vayne. Relief to be wanted, to be accepted by Roxis, but more than that.

Vayne bared his neck, fearless even as Roxis applied pressure to it, possessed by some strange desire to enforce this show of submission as though they both were dogs and yet feeling utterly calm and rational.

Too rational to actually be rational, but he hadn't realized that until later.

At the time, it seemed perfectly reasonable to nod. "Right." Alright then, things were as they should be.

He'd been the one to take Vayne's clothes off, noticing without real surprise how Vayne didn't have something as inelegant as body hair. He didn't have nose or ear hair, although the lack of pimples was normal for alchemists, who had syntheses for that. There was something very womanish about all that smooth, soft skin, not that Roxis minded.

Despite that error, Vayne's body was quite realistic. He was even ticklish, oddly so, in fact, when it was fingers ghosting over the hairs on his arms that had always set Roxis off the hardest as a boy, when his father had mock-wrestled with him.

This wasn't wrestling either. For one thing, Vayne wasn't fighting. Roxis almost pouted at that and yielded to the urge to give Vayne a little kick to get him to play, put up some fight, if he hadn't realized how much like Pamela that would be.

There was certainly something cute about the way Vayne gasped and mewled when he was touched, body trying to curl up around the sensation. "What, you must have tried this before."

"I could have done this… anytime?" Vayne gasped.

"Of course."

"Then why do people ever stop doing this?" He arched up into Roxis' hand.

"In order to find someone to do it with properly." Honestly, this was just a hand job, and it wasn't like Roxis was especially good at it. "Pay attention: I'll be testing you on this later. Very thoroughly." Because, Roxis thought to himself as he bent down, if he was going to kneel before Vayne then Vayne had better make it worth it. Often. For long periods.

By mercury, the thought of Vayne on his knees! Panting because he was worn out, either by pain or pleasure that Roxis had inflicted, and yet kneeling eagerly, wanting to give Roxis what he wanted, eager to be pulled closer to Roxis' body and…

His face was flushed, and utterly delectable somehow. Vayne seemed to be wondering if Roxis would ask (or order) him to return the favor now, and a certain part of Roxis thought that was a very good idea, but no. He was going to take, to claim Vayne…

And there wasn't any oil in here. Obviously, having Vayne put his clothes back on wasn't an option, and Roxis wasn't just going to walk off and leave him here like this where anyone could find him, but luckily there was a cauldron right here.

So Roxis tugged Vayne up, liking the way Vayne was a little slow to move, tired and languid, body still recovering. "Come on, help me figure out a proper oil recipe." Because he wasn't going to go all the way to the student store to see if they had any in stock.

"Oil?" Vayne wondered as Roxis emptied out his pockets onto the table to see what they had to work with. "What kind of oil?" And why would Roxis want oil? "Are you talking machine oil, cooking oil…"

There, those ingredients should work. "You'll see soon enough. Help me with this synthesis."

Except after synthesizing alongside Vayne he couldn't stand it anymore, pinning the silver definitely-not-angel (even if angels lacked free will and Vayne often seemed as though he had no will of his own) against the wall, forcefully kissing at his mouth and rubbing at him in an entirely undignified manner.

"Roxis, please…" Vayne managed to murmur against Roxis' lips, and knowing that Vayne wanted this, wanted him?

Afterwards, Vayne slumped against the wall, utterly drained. Roxis felt the same pleasant sensation, but this wasn't the time. He thrust Vayne's clothes at him after gathering up his own. "Clothes. Bed." Now.

"Are we going to your room?"

"Obviously." Roxis' room, Roxis' Vayne. "Do try to keep up."

Roxis was a teenager. Vayne was a mana, but in hindsight it was very clear that all of this had been Vayne's wish, too. So it took two days for Roxis to poke his head out of his room longer than strictly necessary to gather food and so on. Long enough to notice that things were a little odd.

The workshop, those Vayne had the closest connections to, had gotten hit with it and taken leave of what sense they had an hour after Renee spiked Vayne's cafeteria food. It had taken a day for it to work through the rest of the campus.

But it had.

"Hi, Roxis! Come to join my harem?" Nikki asked cheerfully. The workshop's floor had been covered with pillows and blankets, including the table, where Nikki held court, surrounded by the kneeling bodies of her fanclub. Three of them were giving her attentions as she leaned back on a pile of pillows shaped into something of a throne, kissing and suckling at her body, rewarded with the occasional pet on the head. They looked ecstatic to serve. The only area that hadn't been turned into a replica of a sultan's seraglio was the space and counter right around the cauldron, where Jess was working. Wearing absolutely nothing.

There was a naked person performing alchemy. It would have been all of Roxis' fantasies come to life if it were Vayne instead of Jess. He would have to drag Vayne down here to do more syntheses.

"Tempting, but no. Do we have any more pentagles? I'm here to make a collar and leash for Vayne. I want it to be a surprise," which was why Vayne wasn't with him: Vayne had gotten an idea for his own surprise for Roxis.

"Collars, huh…" Nikki looked at her harem boys thoughtfully. "Oooh, Jess! We should totally do that. And the pants." Like in Arabian nights picture books.

"I'll get right on it, dear! Right after I make these bombs for Flay. We're going to blow up the faculty building," Jess told Roxis happily. "Since he thinks it's dreary. It'll be a really great way to test these out!"

"Blow up the faculty building?" Typical Flay. "Well, you two have fun." He managed to find what he was looking for in the ingredients store.

Roxis headed right for the athanor before they could tie it up for hours making harem uniforms, only to find that it was already reserved for the next several hours making uniforms for Flay's army. Uniforms that were more like costumes, often involving a lot of black leather. Or, in some cases, not very much black leather at all.

Again, typical Flay.

What he saw in the Infirmary when he went to buy amber soups wasn't all that surprising either. He'd known that Ms. Melanie had inclinations in that direction. At least she was willing to stop doing kinky things to the students tied to her beds for a few seconds in order to let him make his purchase.

It was a little strange that everyone had picked today to show their true colors. Dimly, it occurred to him that he might want to let the Vice Principal know about Flay's demolition plans, because if Flay and Jess got into too much trouble, Vayne would be sad. It wasn't that a sad Vayne meant no sex, as getting him to talk about his 'childhood' had proven, it was just that sad Vaynes made Roxis feel like he wasn't taking good enough care of him, or something like that. He wasn't going to rave about being a real man like Flay did, but it was a matter of personal standards to take care of himself and his property.

And his less irritating mana.

Of course, he wasn't going to brave the Vice Principal's lair alone. No, he needed someone to distract her with so he could slip off and get back to his room before Vayne had to wait too long.

Nikki. Nikki was the most sensible member of the workshop.

Including him, not that Roxis would ever admit that.

"Be good, Ok?" Nikki told her boys when Roxis asked her to discuss something privately.

"Yes, oh Queen of Song," they said in unison, prostrating themselves.

Synchronized groveling? That was a little odd. It made Roxis' brows furrow.

In any case, "Don't you think Jess might get in trouble if Flay blows up the faculty building?"

"Oh. Riiiiight," Nikki said, as though she was only getting this now. "Let's go see if the Vice Principal will give Jess permission, ok?"

Walking in on that scene was when Roxis and Nikki both saw that something was wrong.

Very, very wrong.

It wasn't as though Roxis didn't find the Vice Principal attractive despite her age, and Zeppel wasn't that unattractive for a spineless fool who didn't deserve the faculty position that was utterly wasted on him…

Not that Roxis was jealous or anything.

In any case, it was the principal that Roxis' eyes objected to. That was so wrong.

And on the heels of that came the realization that he wasn't objecting to the rest of the scene. And how wrong that was.

Fortunately, Roxis knew who to blame. Something like this, somehow, someway, had to be Vayne's doing. Somehow.

And it was, even if the person whose actual fault it was turned out to be Renee.

Since no one on campus was really in a position to throw stones, the events of those few days were given a blanket amnesty of the 'let us never speak of this again' variety. Flay kept his army and Nikki and Jess their harem, but they were nice enough to keep such things in private. Mainly.

In the same way, Roxis had Vayne move in with him, even if he didn't have Vayne wear the collar and leash in public, so that Vayne had someone to keep an eye on him.

It turned out that Vayne's surprise had been figuring out how to use his powers to turn into a beastman, which made it hard to be angry at him during the confrontation.

And thus, things went back to normal, or at least the normal sort of chaos that was Al Revis school life, barring Tony's little situation and Isolde's experiments eventually bearing fruit.

Of course, it wasn't too much longer until real normalcy resumed, the kind where Vayne was giving Roxis headaches instead of making them go away.

Vayne's resurrected father demanded an explanation of what exactly Roxis thought he was doing with Theofratus' seven-year-old creation and informed the student that if he didn't start doing things properly and propose like a gentleman, he was going to get a very personal and painful demonstration of exactly why Theofratus had been known as the greatest alchemist of the modern era even before anyone knew about Vayne.

Roxis' response to the man daring to say that he had any right to act as Vayne's father after everything he'd done and the resulting discussion involved course language, the Near-Death of a Thousand Papercuts, and people being turned into newts.

Fortunately, they got better in time for the wedding.