A Fateful Meeting

Medusa sank into her chair, fingers laced together in deep thought. So, Soul is beginning to feel the effects of the Black Blood. How very interesting... The Weapon in question had left just minutes before, rushing off to some party Maka had reminded him of when she dropped by to check on him. A grin spread across the witch's face. A pleasant surprise indeed.

Feigning a yawn, she rose, adjusting her lab coat and picking up a pair of medical files from her desk. Her shoes clacked hatefully against the Dispensary's tile floor as she crossed to a tall filing cabinet, but she couldn't be rid of them just yet. A barefooted nurse would arouse unneeded suspicion. The filing cabinet rasped open and Medusa slid the first file, Soul's, into its rightful place before glancing at the name on the second. Roland Frey.

Medusa hummed to herself, fingers dancing over the countless files in search of Frey's spot in the alphabetized mayhem. His file had revealed him to be a healthy boy of sixteen, enrolled at Shibusen as a Meister a month prior. After a month of searching for a Weapon without success, he'd come to seek the advice of a medical professional.

Medical Professional. That tickled her. If only.

He complained of consistent wavelength rejection, a condition not uncommon to new students. Some found their partner on the first day, some didn't. But over the course of a month he'd been to three of the mixers Shibusen held to help new students find partners, and come away empty handed each time.

She hadn't bothered to check, but she was fairly certain that was some kind of record for incompatibility.

He confessed that he doubted he would ever find a Weapon who could match his wavelength. She'd assured him that all he needed to do was keep looking, but he didn't seem satisfied with the answer. She couldn't blame him, but Medusa still found the hints of apathy in his voice distasteful.

So she'd given him another answer.

Something that would lift his spirits enough to get him out of her hair so she could attend to the pressing matter of Soul and his Black Blood. A white lie for Black Blood. A chuckle escaped her lips as she remembered how his eyes seemed to light up at her addendum. It seemed you could wrap any Shibusen student around your little finger with the mere mention of a 'special' wavelength. He hadn't even asked her to specify, seeming content with the vague diagnosis.

She let out a sigh as she slipped Frey's file into its spot, sliding the filing cabinet shut and taking a step back to stretch. All in a day's work. Medusa grinned wickedly as she made for the door.

But the day's not over yet.

Roland was sitting in a comfortable brown leather armchair, reading a leather bound copy of Moby Dick, when the grandfather clock in the corner of the room struck six. Sighing heavily, he rose, walking to the tall bookcase against the wall and inserting the book back into its place. Yawning, he staggered from the study into his bathroom, pausing in front of the mirror above the sink to look himself over. He was a bit tall for a sixteen year old, nearly six feet, and lean. He wore a loose olive green T-shirt with a Shinigami mask emblazoned on its chest and a pair of worn out, slightly baggy, blue jeans held up by a plain brown leather belt. He ran a hand through his unkempt mahogany brown hair, which just reached the nape of his neck, in a compulsory (if futile) effort to tame it.

He turned on the faucet, letting the water get hot before cupping the water in his hands and splashing it over his face. With a casual twist of his wrist he switched the faucet off, drying his face off with an drab green hand towel before drawing a pair of metal rimless glasses from his pant pocket and putting them on. A frown tugged at the side of his mouth as he surveyed his reflection. Satisfied nonetheless, he left his bathroom, heading for the front door of his modest apartment. He drew a knee length olive green trench coat off a coat hanger near the door, pulling it on before stooping to put on a pair of hiking boots. Once his boots were laced up, he opened the door and stepped out.

In the hall outside of his apartment, Roland locked the door, slipping the key into his pant pocket before glancing at the clock on the wall at the end of the hallway.

Six fifteen.

He walked to the end of the hall, and down a long flight of stairs to the first floor of the six story apartment building. The night was cool, but not uncomfortably so, and he left his trench coat unbuttoned, letting it flap behind him as a breeze caressed his face and chest as he walked through the building's open air courtyard, a garden of sorts, and onto the cobblestone street. He turned his gaze towards the DWMA, looming above the rest of the city with the chuckling crescent moon silhouetting it's imposing towers. Taking a deep breath, he began his trek to the academy, hands buried in his coat pockets while it billowed behind him, head turned down as he walked into the wind.

Alexa was running late. Breathing heavily, cursing under her breath while her sporty black tennis shoes fought for traction against the cobblestones she ran through the streets leading to the DWMA. If I can just keep this pace up, I should still make it on time. Thank god the streets are empty so early tonight.

Not five minutes before, she had been comfortably watching television in her motel room on the outskirts of Death City when she had remembered that the Weapon/Meister mixer started at seven. And that was at six forty. She had barely been able to put on her shoes and "Weapon" name tag before dashing out of the door in a mad bid to get to the mixer on time.

Well, at least I didn't have to waste time doing my hair. Alexa had recently adopted a much shorter, and admittedly tomboyish, hairstyle, with her scarlet hair cut short enough that it didn't get in her eyes or blow in the wind. And the time she saved with it, both in regards to hygiene and aerodynamics, were worth being called a dike by the old man in the motel room next to hers.

But she wasn't thinking about that now. All she could do was concentrate on making her legs move. Shit, shit, shit! I need a shortcut…there! Alexa spotted an alleyway to her right that appeared to lead in the direction of the academy. She skidded on the cobblestones and she screeched to a halt at the entrance to the alley. Still breathing hard, but now smiling, she started down the alley, running to beat the clock.

Deep in the twisting alleys of Death City, a witch stood silently. The wind picked up, and she pulled her robe tighter around her body, using her other hand to pull down the brim of her hat. It was a cold night, and she knew it would only get colder. She didn't much mind the cold, other than as a physical annoyance. Coming to Death City had been a risky idea to begin with, and she knew it. But there was a Weapon/Meister mixer tonight, so she figured most of the people who could do her any harm were all gathered in the academy to help the pups find partners.

Infiltrating the city had actually been a painfully simple task. With her soul protect and transformation magic, it had simply been a matter of waiting until nightfall when she'd be hardest to see and flying to an out of the way spot to consider her next move.

But her ruminations were interrupted by the sound of foot steps and heavy breathing. Someone's found me? Impossible! She turned slowly to face the direction of the intruder. She thought she would be safe in a dead end alley, but that was obviously not the case.

Skidding around the corner came a girl with short red hair, bell bottom jeans, and a tight fitting black T-shirt. Upon seeing her the girl froze in place, a look of disbelief plastered across her face.

The witch smiled. Above the girl's heart was a pinned a name tag that read "Weapon".

She chuckled.

"Soul protect off."

Roland walked with purpose towards the academy, hands still buried in his trench coat's pockets. He looked up to see the academy looming before him, not five minutes away. He stopped, standing to look at the massive complex that dominated the heart of Death City. I'm just kidding myself. He shifted his gaze to his feet, nudging a loose stone on the street into the nearby gutter. The memory of his visit to the school nurse, Medusa, was a bitter one.

A unique soul wave length. At first he was elated by the diagnosis. But then its irony set in. According to Medusa, he had some kind of hidden potential, but he couldn't find a Weapon to help him unleash it.

Roland let out a shuddering breath. I'm useless.

"Shit, shit, shit!" The curses snapped Roland back to reality. A girl with short red hair had burst from a nearby alley and, upon seeing him, sprinted towards the lone Meister with frightening speed. Roland caught her by the shoulders, her head snapped up, and their eyes met. He found himself looking into pair of deep blue eyes, but their owner quickly pulled away from him.

They stood, only a few feet away from one another, the girl struggling to catch her breath. After a moment she regained her composure, and pointed at the alley she had just come out of.


Roland was dumbfounded. "What?"

And then he saw her. A shadowy figure emerged from the alley, seeming to glide across the ground like a glacier. The red haired girl moved beside Roland, facing the witch by his side. The witch wore a robe patterned to resemble a coat of dark purple feathers, with a high collar that obscured her face. Her hat was the same dark purple color of her cloak, its brim narrowed and elongated towards the front in a way that made it look like a beak, while the rest of the hat was swept backwards in a way that again resembled feathers. The combined effect of all this clothing was to make the witch appear to be more of a human sized raven than a person. The witch turned to face the pair, and then she spoke.

"So, the girl has found a boy for me to kill as well? Ah well, I suppose no one wants to die alone." The red haired girl moved into a fighting stance, her right forearm glowing white and changing into the blade of a sword. A Weapon! Roland's racing thoughts were interrupted as the witch chanted her mantra.

"Huginn Muninn, Ravens, Raven!" An object began to materialize in the hand she leveled at the two, the energy quickly coalescing into a glowing sphere. "Feather Burst!"

The scarlet headed girl snarled, grinding her heel into the cobblestone as she leveled her blade arm at the witch. "I am Alexa, Demon Sword-"

The energy ball was a blur as it buried itself in the stone between the teens, interrupting Alexa as it exploded and showered the two with dagger-like feathers, knocking them to opposite sides of the street. Struggling to her feet, Alexa roared, charging with her blade held high.

The witch casually raised a hand to catch Alexa's overhead swing, and for a moment they stood, Alexa gaping as the witch held her blade arm at bay with her bare hand. Thinking fast, she quickly stepped back and then lunged with her blade arm in an attempt to skewer the witch's middle. She laughed before knocking Alexa's blade aside and striking her with a powerful backhanded slap, sending her sprawling on the cobblestone street.

"Why did you choose to stand and fight? Was it because you found some one who would die with you? Did you really think that two children would be enough to defeat me, Raena, the Raven Witch?"

Alexa struggled back to her feet, her cheek smarting from the slap. Why didn't I just keep running? She shakily assumed her combat stance. I'm sorry trench coat guy. Sorry for getting you killed. But she's right. I don't want to die alone. Raena approached, chuckling, and Alexa squeezed her eyes shut. At least I died fighting.

The chuckling stopped, annoyance obvious in the witch's voice.

"What do you think you're doing?"

Alexa opened her eyes. Standing between her and Raena was Roland.

Roland balled his hands into fists. His conscious scoffed at him. Nice going, at least you won't die like a coward. Idiot.

"You think that you can fight me? If she couldn't beat me, what makes you think you can?" She laughed. "You don't even think you can beat me. Your soul reeks of apathy. And you would stand against a witch? Is this courage or idiocy?"

He was all adrenaline now, his actions only dictated by the logic of violent instinct. He charged the witch head on, a move that prompted the witch to giggle girlishly. She leveled an open palm at him, throwing another energy ball towards him with blinding speed. But he sidestepped to the right at the last possible second, letting the attack fly harmlessly past, and sent a punch towards the witch's stomach. She deftly caught his fist, grinning at him, eyes flashing.

"That was a rhetorical question; courage is idiocy."

She gave his arm a cruel twist, eliciting a cry of pain from the tall boy. With a jerk he pulled his hand free, stepping quickly to the left and sending another punch at the witch's side, aiming for a kidney shot. She turned slightly, easily avoiding the attack before locking his neck in a vice-like grip, lifting him off his feet. She pressed a palm to his chest, grinning wildly as she prepared to finish him. But in a desperate attempt to escape, he delivered a kick to her gut, knocking the wind out of her and forcing her to release him.

Roland coughed, staggering forward as the witch fought for breath, focusing his soul wavelength into his right hand.

Raena had just caught her breath when the punch connected with her stomach. She grinned at the meager attack, hardly strong enough to wind her. Then his wavelength hit. The attack had just enough strength to send her skidding back several feet. She chuckled at the sudden display of strength.

"My my, you don't see that every day." Her chuckles subsided. "But I'm afraid I'll have to kill you now. It's unwise to linger in Death City without Soul Protect activated, and you two are beginning to waste my time."

Alexa gaped at the Meister, as she now knew without a doubt he was one. No normal human can attack with their soul wavelength directly.

"Hey! Kid! Why didn't you tell me you were a Meister earlier? We'd be a lot better off if you were wielding me instead of fighting on your own!"

He paused, not taking his eyes off of the witch.

"I'm not sure that I can resonate my wavelength with you, and I can't run the chance of wavelength rejection in the middle of this fight."

She walked to his side, sword arm reverting to normal.

"How can you know if we don't try?" He turned his head, locking eyes with her. His were a light brown, like caramel, or creamy coffee, she mused. She offered him her hand. Slowly, he reached for it, holding it tenderly, as if it was something fragile that he didn't want to break. Alexa closed her eyes, body glowing with white light, transforming into her weapon form. "Here goes nothing."

Roland watched speechlessly as Alexa's weapon form took shape in his still outstretched right hand. He tensed his body, as if by habit, waiting for the sting of wavelength rejection to double him over. But Alexa's transformation was complete, and he was still standing. Hesitantly, he examined the first Weapon he could ever wield .

She had taken the form of a claymore, with a steely gray blade accented by a deep scarlet line that ran down its middle from the cross guard to the tip. The hilt was dull gray, with a short cross guard and a long grip wrapped in a silky scarlet fabric. He felt her wavelength resonating steadily with his, and couldn't stop himself from smiling. Beautiful. For the second time that night the witch's voice interrupted his thoughts.

"Well, boy, are you going to do something with that thing?"

He turned his gaze back to the witch, his smile disappearing. Roland stared her down with fiery intensity, shifting into combat stance, taking hold of Alexa's hilt with both hands. Raena, sensing that the battle was about to resume, leveled both palms at the Meister, an energy ball glowing in each.

Alexa snarled from within her weapon form. "Damn straight he is! Let's show her what we've got!"

He tightened his grip, brows furrowing. "Right."

Roland feared they didn't have much. He saw that the odds were clearly stacked against them, but there was little he could do but stand his ground. If they ran, the witch would kill them. If they fought, the witch would kill them.

He could almost feel the witch tensing, coiling her muscles to launch another attack, and he knew that when she did there would be little he could do to defend himself. But then he saw a blur of motion from the corner of his eye.

"Witch Hunter!"

Raena barely avoided the attack, crying out as another swipe forced her further back. She had just regained her balance in time to avoid a third attack, hissing at the newcomer.

"What! Where did you come from?"

Maka Albarn held Soul at the ready, his witch hunter blade humming with energy. With a cry, she slashed at the witch, who deftly dodged the blow.

She swung Soul over her head, forcing the witch to jump back as Soul shattered the cobblestone where she had just been standing. Soul grinned at her from within his Weapon form. "Oh, us? We're just a couple of students wondering what a witch was doing in Death City."

"Well Maka, it appears as if your soul perception is as keen as ever." Maka smiled fiercely as Professor Stein stepped into view from a nearby alley, a cigarette hanging from his lips. He gave her a lazy grin. "And don't think that I didn't bring a little help."

The street behind the witch heaved as Sid erupted from the ground, Nygus in hand.

Raena staggered forwards, now completely surrounded. She looked around, seeing that she was outnumbered, and hissed under her breath.

"Not very sporting of you, ganging up on a lady like this." Her eyes narrowed as they darted from one enemy to the next. "It's a shame I won't get to kill all of you quite yet, as I'm afraid our time together is up."

With that the witch flourished her robe, turning into a raven and promptly taking flight, retreating to the safety of the open sky. Maka relaxed her grip on Soul. The battle was over.

Roland blinked with disbelief. I…I made it? The blonde girl who had come to his rescue was looking up at the sky, searching it for the fleeing witch. Sid, a teacher Roland recognized from the academy, approached him.

"Are you okay kid?"

Roland nodded silently. With a twinge of disappointment he felt Alexa leaving his hand as she returned to her human form.

"About damn time someone showed up. I was beginning to think that we'd be on our own out here."

Sid dismissed her snide remark with a wave of his hand. "I wouldn't let a witch run around Death City unchecked any day. That's not the kind of man I was."

"Do you think this has something to do with the witch we met in Florence?" The blonde, Maka, was talking to Stein, another teacher from the academy.

Stein shrugged in response.

"Perhaps, but this witch's soul was different than the one in Florence. We don't know enough to draw any connections between the two, other than that one commands a rogue Meister while the other was sneaking around near the DWMA."

He paused to allow a small cloud of smoke to escape his lips. "Even if these are two unrelated events, the ramifications are dire nonetheless."

The professor turned to face the rest of the group, gesturing towards Roland and Alexa. "You two should go and get some rest. It's not every day you fight a witch and live." He looked up at the sky, adjusting the screw that was lodged in the side of his head. "And on that note, if no one requires immediate medical attention, I suggest we go our separate ways."

With that Stein turned and walked back into the alley from which he had arrived. Sid gave a casual wave and retreated into the ground. Roland was still looking at the hole Sid and fled into when he felt a hand on his shoulder.

It was Maka. She gave him a warm smile.

"You guys did pretty well. Maybe I'll see you two around?"

Roland nodded. "Yeah, that'd be nice. Thanks again for bringing in the cavalry."

She laughed.

"Well, see you two later!"

And with that, she was gone, running down the street with her scythe in hand. Rain was beginning to fall lightly.

"Hey, are you okay kid?" It was Alexa. Her blue eyes were clouded with worry.

Roland smiled. He felt like his legs were going to collapse under him.

"I'm fine."

The shower was becoming a downpour. Alexa gave a little cry, startled by the sudden intensity of the rain. Am I gonna have to walk all the way back to the motel in this shit? They stood for a moment in the heavy rain, and Roland took off his trench coat, offering it to her.

She looked at him for a moment before accepting it, draping the olive green coat over her shoulders. "Thanks. I'm Alexa, by the way." He nodded slowly.

"I'm Roland." He turned and began walking down the street. "Come on. We need to get out of this rain."

Alexa hesitated, then ran to catch up. They walked in silence, Alexa trailing a few feet behind him. After a several minutes they arrived at a tall apartment building. They walked across a courtyard with stone benches and flowers Alexa didn't recognize, then started up a flight of stairs that lead from the edge of the courtyard to the inside of the building. She followed silently. They left the stairwell on the fourth floor, and moved down a hallway lined with doors.

At the end of the hallway, up on the wall, was a clock. Seven fifteen. All that in less then an hour. He stopped in front of a door with the numbers 4-4 on it. He felt around in his pocket, drawing a key, with which he unlocked the door, opening it and stepping inside.

Roland held the door as Alexa stepped in after him.

The apartment matched what Alexa thought the study of a university professor might look like. A couple of comfortable arm chairs, a sofa, a grandfather clock, and many leather bound books. An entire wall was devoted to a book shelf which held countless volumes. The only thing that seemed out of place was a kitchen counter under a window on the far wall, near which stood a refrigerator. The entire room was dominated by earth tones, dark shades of green and brown.

Roland gestured towards the couch. "Take a seat. I'll get you something hot to drink."

She sat, holding the trench coat close, still cold from their walk in the rain. Her host, however, having had no such protection from the rain, was dripping wet. Seemingly unmoved by this, he walked to the counter, opening a cupboard and drawing forth a tea kettle, setting about making some tea while Alexa let her eyes wander around the room. On the wall opposite the bookshelf was a short hallway, inside of which she could spy three doors.


She looked up. Roland was standing there with a cup of tea, holding it out to her. She forced a smile and accepted it. That was fast.


She drank the tea in silence. Roland stood, thinking of something to say. I won't let this opportunity pass me be. He cleared his throat, and she looked up at him. He chose his words carefully.

"So… I saw that you were going to the Weapon/Meister mixer."

She looked into her cup of tea, hiding her face.


So far so good.

"So… it's safe to assume that you're not already partnered with a Meister?"

She looked back up, puzzled.

"That's right."

"Well, if that's the case, then, I mean, if you didn't mind…" She was leaning forward, waiting for him to finish. He scratched the back of his head. "We could be partners."

Her smile became genuine. "I'd like that."

She saw his eyes brighten. "Really?"


A/N: Bam, first chapter done. I encourage you to leave a review of some sort, but I suppose you can do that at your discretion.