A/N: I have committed a grave sin. FORGIVE ME! FORGIVE ME!

This is set in Darkenning's Decadent Habits. If you don't know what that is… yeah, right!

...

Decadent Habits: The Rainbow Murders

by Shadow Crystal Mage

Chapter 1: The First Murder

Disclaimer: Negima belongs to Akamatsu Ken. The Decadent Habits series written by Darkenning. I'm making no profit off this.

...

It was a bright and sunny day. The sun was shining, the birds were singing, and Mahora was in ruins.

"This the third time this has happened," college student Senou Kaede said, grimacing as he looked at the mess before him, debating whether he should use his brush or his crowbar first. "You'd think after all this the faculty would stop trying to tell us how safe we are."

"Oh, stop bitching and get a move on SCM," Chizuno Masuto said. "At least you don't have rubble to clean up. You get a nice, cushy job." Grimacing at the rocks and assorted building materials, the Iridian drew out the mask of his Omnes Malesuada Ipsius Ludentis, laying the Artifact over his face. Immediately, his arms started bulging with muscle, turning into a Titan-doped monstrosity. With casual strength, he started heaving the debris aside.

Kaede grimaced but did. The homunculus-generator was in surprisingly good shape, all things considered. It had apparently shut down because the tower's shapeshifting— he shuddered at the memory of the enormous penis— hadn't been accounted for in its construction, tearing off the power couplings. Or perhaps that had happened at its collapse. Either way, the equipment had been shielded magically from damage, which he'd just spent to last hour getting around.

Deciding on the brush, he took one from his tool box and started flicking away dust and small debris. "Why isn't Hakase Satomi here doing this?" he asked over the sounds of rocks being heaved. "I'd have thought dismantling a cloning machine would be right up her alley."

There was a deep grunt and an equally deep reply. "You want HER to have a cloning machine?"

"Ah. Good point."

The two lost track of time as they worked at their tasks. Kaede meticulously dismantled the machine for either study or sealing, though he suspected the latter. He didn't know much about homunculi creation, but he knew enough to know this thing worked too fast. It did in seconds what should be done in weeks. The hyper-acceleration surely did a number on the psyche of the homunculi in question, resulting in rapidly degrading sanity. Though from rumors he'd heard, the person they were imitating hadn't been playing with a full deck, either.

An unknown amount of time later, there was a rustling from the passage leading outside, soon followed by a bright-pink head. "Hey guys!" Tenou Shiki greeted. The pinkette held up a pair of bento boxes and chirped, "I bought food!"

"Marry me, Cygan" Kaede groaned, releasing the Soei-jutsu he'd been using to try and pull out a part he'd unscrewed. It could keep.

"You're not my type, and last I checked, I wasn't yours," came the amused reply as a bento was handed over. "Overmaster-kun, you coming?"

"Just a sec," came the basso reply. "Bad smell coming from here. Just wanna get it out."

"Probably just another homunculus," Kaede said between swallows. "Get over here or I'm eating yours."

There was a heaving crash, and then silence. A low-level bad smell that had been hovering in the background got stronger.

"Fuck," Masuto swore.

"More homunculi?" Kaede asked casually.

"No," the Iridian said dully. "I found Ack Sed."

...

They sent Shiki to run out and get someone. The medic was a quick runner after all, and anyway, the two of them could keep the roof from collapsing. They stood and waited with the corpse of their late teammate.

"He must have wandered in after it collapsed," Masuto said to break the silence. "Poor guy had a hunk of rock drop on him."

Kaede starred at the body and slowly started shaking his head. "No," he said slowly. "No, that's not right. There's not enough trauma to the back of his head for that. Plus his defensive aura should have protected him enough for him to put up a sufficient shield. And despite all the blood on the floor—" he took a moment to not throw up, "— none of it is from the back of his head. Look, it's too dry."

Masuto gave him a blank look. "CSI? Bones?"

"Discovery Channel."

"And here I thought Yamiko was the Professor," Masuto said dryly.

"What is it with you and those comics? You know the REAL Batman isn't as nice. He kills people! Plus no one from Gotham could possibly be that sane."

"I'm trying to get my mind off the fact I'm standing ten feet from a dead classmate!"

A beat.

"Fourteen feet," Kaede corrected.

Masuto threw up his hands.

Authority figures soon arrived. Shiki came back leading father Kotomine (known to everyone as Creepy Pervert Priest, though not to his face) and Itoshiki-sensei, Mahora's field-pathology team. The priest knew a disturbing number if ways a person could die magically, while the latter knew every mundane method known to man, reputedly because he kept trying and failing to use them on himself. He was, thankfully, alone, with none of his nutjob students with him. Well, mostly alone…

"Hey, Tsunetsuki-san," Kaede greeted the girl standing behind the teacher, slightly dreamily.

Itoshiki jumped. "Ah!" he cried, looking behind him. "You were there?"

"Always," the stalker said, clutching at his sleeve.

Father Kirei was already getting to work, kneeling next to Ack Sed. "Ah. Yet another of the heathen practitioners of the unholy art of magic has been claimed by the devil, to suffer eternally in the flames of hell."

The three student mages twitched. "Father Kotomine, aren't you a Mage?" Masuto said.

"What's your point?"

"Must… not… debate… religion…" Kaede said.

Kotomine examined the corpse with detached professionalism that warred badly with the glee in his voice. "Ah, to be taken so young, with such promise of redemption before him, now doomed to eternity in unquenchable fire…!"

"Dante depicts hell as a cold place, due to being far from the light if God," Kaede interjected before he could stop himself.

"Now, he shall freeze eternally in merciless cold," Kotomine continued without missing a beat.

Itoshiki rolled his eyes. "Come on, let me have my turn so I can get back to my bleach and tequila."

"Patience, Nozomu-kun. Some things must be savored."

"But I want to do it now!"

Shiki cringed in distaste. "Please, some respect! This was a friend of ours!"

"Yeah, cut out the necrophilic comments! We get first dibs!"

The other two stared at Kaede.

"I make inappropriate jokes when I'm uncomfortable, you know that," he said defensively.

"SCM? Shut up," Masuto said.

Finally, Itoshiki-sensei examined he body. "He was murdered," he declared near instantly. Matoi gushed, making Kaede sigh wistfully and the other two to roll their eyes at him.

"How so?" Kotomine asked.

Itoshiki pointed. "There's bruising on his neck, indicating he was strangled. Also…" he flipped he body over and the three college students recoiled. "That."

There was a gaping hole in his chest, and his heart was conspicuously missing.

Vomiting ensued.

...

It would have been nice to say they were let off the hook after seeing their dead teammate like that and told to take the day off, but unfortunately they didn't have the manpower. Thousands of mundane students would be coming back soon, and the Academy needed to be in a relatively acceptable state to meet them, something they could pass off as an earthquake rather than a giant monster attack.

Shiki was sent running to help with logistics, while Masuto was moved to another part of the Academy. Kaede went to dismantle the former tower's other electronic systems. When he finished and returned to the homunculus chamber, the body was gone, taken by a recovery crew. He went back to work, the room now reeking of vomit.

When Masuto got back to the college dorm, which was only half usable and had no running water due to half the building being gone from several tank hits, people were just starting to get the news. The cellular networks were still up, and their building still had phones, and therefore Internet access. They'd seen the updated list of fatalities. This was going to be a pretty bad fake earthquake.

When they found out he's been there, the other dormers, not all magical and certainly not all Iridians, crowded him for details. The mundane students all thought it had been an earthquake too, thanks to judicious memory alteration. Actually, not that many had been needed. After all that business with that satellite-thingy appearing above the World Tree, the faculty had made preparations to deal with the civilian population in case of a third incident, installing large-scale sigils under heavily populated buildings set to induce sleep, forced teleportation outside the Academy, and suggestibility to whatever cover story was used. Many critics had called the project wasteful and unnecessary.

He wondered what tune they'd be singing now.

"Is it true?" Hoshino Namine asked, clutching her bandanna. She was a relatively new recruit to Iridia. "Is Ack Sed-sempai really…?"

At his nod, several people bowed their heads in respect. Ack Sed had been a distant person, but had generally been well liked. "He was at the wrong place at the wrong time," Masuto said, sticking to the earthquake cover story. "He got hit and…" He shrugged helplessly.

Another Iridian, Nihono Haku, shook his head. "Crap like this never happened in Nerima. Most people would just shrug off rocks falling on them."

"I doubt that's true," Arisugawa Setsuna said. "I doubt Saotome-san's all that tough, Teeth."

Haku absently swept back his blonde hair, emphasizing his hairline and slight resemblance to Draco Malfoy. "I've met her brother and her parents. There's no way she couldn't be!"

And just like that, the topic moved on. Masuto felt there should have been more melodrama involved, like someone falling to their knees and shouting they were in despair. Well, maybe not that. That was Itoshiki-sensei's bit.

Still, as the crowd began to disperse, he made a covert gesture, nodding his head at an empty table that had a few board games stored neatly under it. The other Iridians currently in the dorm got the message, and started a general movement there. The other dormers gave them their space, knowing the group was close, though not quite how. Some of the more malicious rumors had them as an orgy club.

"Okay, what REALLY happened?" Fuho Saburou asked.

Masuto felt he should have glasses to push up as he said, "It was no accident. Ack Sed was murdered."

DUN DUN DUM!

"RT!" Asagiri Asagimaru hissed.

"Sorry, but what else am I supposed to do after a narmy line like that?" Kage-tan, the self-proclaimed "Ghost in the Smell" said, hovering above them, invisible to mundane eyes. "It's practically an invitation!"

"Why did Ack Sed have to be taken from us?" Chimaka Itoshi cried. "I mean, I knew that it was just a matter of time before one of us was taken, considering the fact that we're from the world of dark, but why did it have to be Ack Sed! I deserved to die much more than he did!"

Asagimaru's head slumped down. "Oh, here we go again..."

"Then I'd finally be able to make up for the fact that I never healed my mother!"

"You were thirteen when she died!" Sakuragi Tsukiyomi pointed out.

"So? Springfield-sensei is younger than that!"

"Springfield-sensei is a genius!" Aiwa Kimyou pointed out. "With a classroom full of girls for a harem. Compared to him, you're a mentally retarded donkey!"

"I know! I'm a failure to my family! But wait!" He drew his pactio card. "Maybe I can die instead of Ack Sed!"

Namine snatched the card out of his hand.

"I'm confiscating this until you calm down," she said. "You know that any changes made by your Artifact are temporary, so it wouldn't save Ack Sed anyway!"

"Once again, my noble duty has been thwarted!" Itoshi complained to the Heavens.

"If you're so eager to die, then why did you run from the psycho in the frilly dress?" Masuto said.

"What was that?" Tsukiyomi said.

"Different psycho in a frilly dress, Tsukiyomi."

"I didn't have anyone with me, so no one would have benefited from my noble sacrifice. Besides, she had that look in her eyes when she saw me. Girls stab me when they get that look in their eyes! They're scary! No offense." He turned to the female members of their group. "In fact it's a compliment. Your gender is very impressive!"

"If you don't want to be stabbed, then why do you look longingly at knives, while caressing them and pressing them against your skin?"

"Well, if I did it myself, then I could choose the position and control the speed and depth of penetration, so it's less scary," he said.

Everyone's faced looked totally blank.

" What?" he asked.

Masuto tilted his head. "Are you SURE you're not related to Itoshiki-sensei?"

"RT, focus," Setsuna snapped. "One of ours is dead."

That killed the mood.

"Itoshiki-sensei and Kotomine-sensei thinks a demon got him and he was buried by the debris," Masuto explained.

There was silence.

The door to the dorm's common room opened, and a guy with an arm on a sling strode into the room with a loud cry of, "I'VE JUST HAD THE MOST AWESOME IDEA EVER!"

Everyone just gave him blank, flat looks, then tuned him out. He didn't seem to notice, striding over to Iridia with an annoyingly perky step. "Hey," he said, bouncing on the couch and sending those already on it bouncing. There were glares. "Wanna hear my idea? Nah, I'll wait until it's done. It is AWESOME!"

"You know, the things you say aren't as interesting if you don't provide the context for us to understand them," Haku said.

"Context is for weaklings, Teeth!" Kazemaru Arashi cried.

"Anemoi, the fans are off, and they shut down the air conditioning," Masuto said. "Shouldn't you take that trenchcoat off? You must be melting."

"Nonsense!" Arashi said boisterously as sweat trickled down his face. "I'm cool!"

"Still, all that insulation can't be good for your cast," Asagimaru pointed out. "Your sweat will get it wet."

"No, it's okay," Arashi said. "I put an ice spell on it to keep it cool."

Tsukiyomi hummed thoughtfully. "How long ago was this, Anemoi?"

"After lunch. Why?"

"Your fingers are blue."

He looked down. "Sonovagun they are. Guess that's why I don't feel them anymore."

Everyone facepalmed. "Sereg, can you get him to the infirmary?" Masuto said tiredly.

"It shall be done!" Itoshi cried, pulling Arashi to his feet and hustling him along. "Come, friend!"

On their way out, they nearly collided with Kaede, who stumbled aside and nearly dropped his iPhone. "Watch it!" he cried at their retreating backs. "Do you know how hard it is to get one of these fixed?-!"

"There you are!" Masuto said. "Where have you been? Itoshi had another one of his episodes."

"Suicidal, Freudian or disturbingly Oedipal over his sister?" Kaede asked, his thump finishing up on what he was typing and turning the device off.

"One and two," Setsuna said.

"Ah. Good. Maybe his imouto complex is finally fading," Kaede said, wiping the sweat off his brow. "The Professor here yet?"

"Nah, she's still with Fujimura-sensei," Kage-tan said. "Why? You need a lookout for sneaking into the girl's baths to get cleaned up again?"

"It is grossly unfair they get all the water and we need to shower at the gym!" Kaede said. "And no. Anyone want to break into a crematorium?"

They all stared at him.

"No one? Well, okay then, I'll do it myself."

"SCM. Explain. Now," Masuto said levelly.

"I intend to break into the crematorium where they've got Ack Sed and examine his body," Kaede said. "RT, I need you to keep an eye out for me, so you're in. Who else?"

"Better explanation please," Setsuna said. "That made as much sense as one of Anemoi's entrance lines."

Kaede sighed with exaggerated patience. "It's like this, Shane; I think there's something fishy about how Ack Sed died, so I'm going to check out his body and see what I can see." A beat. "Wow, that sounded straighter and less necrophilic in my head."

"SCM, you don't actually use crack, do you?" Tsukiyomi said.

He just grinned. "You in?"

...

"I am at peace," Nashi whispered, sitting in his peaceful, meditative position. "I am calm. I am relaxed. I am one with the universe." Though his eyes were closed, a bright light had emerged from the vast sea of darkness. "I – I see it. It's becoming all so clear. The true meaning of life! I can't believe no one has realized it before. It'll finally bring about peace to this backwater world. It's – !"

His room's door was kicked open.

"NL, we've got some kind of emergency!" Kaede shouted.

"It's…it's gone," Nashi whimpered, tears dribbling down his face. "I finally found it. The answer to life, the universe, and everything. And it was so beautiful."

"It's forty-two," Kaede deadpanned. "But that's beside the point. I need you for a little bit on insanity. Ack Sed is dead."

"Are you sure he didn't just kill himself to get away from the rest of us?" Nashi asked dryly.

"I'm being serious. Masuto found his body while we were clearing debris." Kaede waved it off. "Get your sword, we have somewhere to be. It's in here, right?" he asked as he approached Nashi's closet.

"No, stay out of there!" he cried, attempting to tackle Kaede but tripped over his bum leg.

Kaede opened the closet door, and raised an eyebrow. "Huh. I never took you for a Covert Pervert, NL. I mean, in this crew, there's really no reason to hide it." The closet was filled to the brim with all types of merchandise of various cute anime and manga girls, ranging from dōjinshi to body pillows – most of them with green hair. He held up one wall-scroll of C.C. from Code Geass. "You a fan of the green?" he asked with a smirk.

Nashi grabbed his cane, limped over, and snatched the scroll from Kaede. "You don't breathe a word of this to anyone, Mage…"

"Is this Chachamaru-san from 3-A?" Kaede said, unrolling another poster. "Can I keep this?"

Nashi drew a sword out of his cane. "Now I have to kill you."

Kaede shrugged. "Whatever. Come on, we've got business to attend to and I need a bodyguard!" Grabbing Nashi by his shirt, he dragged the flailing swordsman outside.

...

"I can't believe you talked me into this," Masuto said.

"Hush," Kaede said, focusing on the lock as his shadows nudged tumblers and gently turned the cylinder with each adjustment. "Don't make me lose my place. 2, 8, 1… is that a 5? No, 4… and we're in," he said as the lock clicked open.

"And you know how to pick locks because…?" Tsukiyomi prompted. The dark-clad loligoth was immaculately out of place amidst the Spartan surroundings of the alley behind the crematorium, her hands primly folded.

Kaede took an interest in the paint of the crematorium's back door. "If you must know Immi-chan, Matoi-chan taught me back when we were… you know…"

"Oh, for crying out loud, SCM!" Shashuno Kuroro hissed. The Iridian had arrived at the dorm as they were heading out and had decided to join in the jaunt. He was currently wondering what the heck he'd been thinking. "She stalked you for a few weeks, you were so needy you let her, and she became obsessed with someone else. It's over, get over it!"

Kaede sniffed. "You just don't understand our DEEP LOVE."

"Focus, fucked-up leader," Kage-tan said, hovering above them. "This was your idea, remember? Which way?"

"You stay here and keep watch," Kaede said, fishing out one of his many flashlights from his pocket. The lens was covered with dark red cellophane. "We're going in."

...

They crept through the darkened halls, locking the door behind them and grimacing at the smell that permeated the place. Nashi hobbled along, long experience letting him hobble quietly on his cherrywood cane. The once-kendoka was muttering under his breath as the followed the muted glow of the red-filtered light. Tsukiyomi led the way, tracking Ack Sed through the small seal she'd slapped onto each Iridian since that disastrous camping trip that would forever be known as "That Unfortunate Incident With The Moth Kaiju". It was almost gone now, no longer having Ack Sed's magic to live off, but there was enough for its maker to find it.

The seal lead them to the basement, into a room past the blast furnace, still hot after a days work. Kaede picked that lock too.

"Why do you need us again?" Kuroro asked. "You seem like you could get in on your own."

"Do I need to remind you about 'The Sleepover of the Zombie Apocalypse' last year?" Kaede said, waving them in before closing the door behind them again.

"It's not winter solstice any more, and Tsukiyomi hasn't been messing with her Nekronomikron again, " Masuto said.

Tsukiyomi shuffled. "Not lately…" she muttered.

"Is that why you made us go in first?" Nashi said. "To be meat shields?-!"

"Shh!" Kaede hushed. "Sneaking around voice, remember?"

"SCM, you are a trained Mage!" Masuto said, exasperated. "Heck, that's what the 'M' stands for! Man up, strap on a pair and get over it!"

"I know that!" Kaede hissed, finishing wrapping bands of shadow around the many coffins in the room and barricading all but one of the morgue drawers along the walls. "I'm just being cautious, that's all. Now, could someone open this drawer for me? I promise I'll be right behind you."

Nashi rolled his eyes, leaning against a wall to take the weight off his cane. "Oh, you're useless."

Masuto snorted, but pulled the morgue draw back. Kaede tensed, a scythe made of shadow congealing in his hands, ready to strike.

Nothing. The corpse just lay there. It was naked, the gaping hole in the chest barely stitched together. The ribcage was still mildly distended, the center slightly collapsed. Nashi and Kuroro were silent, heads bowed respectfully to honor a fallen friend. Kaede gulped, reached for a box of latex gloves, and began to pull one on as he slowly walked to the drawer.

The corpse twitched, turning it head towards Kaede, one arm reaching, eyes opening to reveal dull, lifeless eyes. "Flesh…" it groaned.

Kaede screamed girlishly, stumbling back. "Sagitta Magica!" he began. "Convergentia Spiritus Lu—!"'

"Immi, cut it out, " Kuroro said, Torn between looking disapproving and smirking. "Stop messing with him."

Tsukiyomi smirked herself. "He's so predictable, " she said, putting her wand away.

Kaede glared at her. "I hate you, " he said.

He picked up the box of latex gloves he'd dropped and slipped on a pair. "Now…" he murmured, "let's see…" He bent over the corpse, turning it over this way and that, poking here, tugging there, humming thoughtfully.

"I didn't know you knew pathology, " Masuto said.

"I don't, " Kaede said. "I know diddly squat. All I've got comes from Discovery Channel, crime novels, forensics dramas, and that biography of Elvis Presley I got my last birthday."

The three Iridians stared at him dully. "What, " Kuroro said flatly.

"I said—"

"We heard what you said!" Nashi said. "Just what exactly did you hope to accomplish here?"

"I want to confirm Itoshiki-sensei's verdict, " Kaede said. "I know enough for that at least. The bruising on his neck indicates he WAS strangled."

"So?" Nashi demanded.

"So how many demons did you see during the fight without claws?" Kaede said, undoing the red filter on his flashlight. The bright light that flooded the room had them wincing as Kaede trained the beam into the hole on Ack Sed's chest.

Masuto frowned. "Well…"

"None, " Tsukiyomi said thoughtfully. "They were a generic lot, very similar. All those without claws would have been too big to strangle Ack Sed without squashing his head like a fruit and ripping it out of his neck."

Kaede nodded. "His chest, by contrast, was torn open by an edge of some kind. Not very sharp, though. Probably by some kind of metallic debris. Very clumsily, too. It looks like the time Anemoi tried to make sushi and cut the fish with a plastic take-out knife. I can't tell without opening him back up, but I'd bet his arteries were cut the same way. "

"Discovery Channel and dramas, you say?" Kuroro said.

"And cooking. All meat is the same, to a degree, " Kaede said, tugging reaching into another pocket of the vest he habitually wore. He pulled out a small digital camera, grimacing in distaste. "Ugh. Corpse cooties. Anyway, I can take pictures and show them to Sereg. He actually DOES know about these things."

"And he's not here because…?" Masuto prompted.

"Can you imagine him trying to sneak in?" Kaede said, snapping pictures.

They all thought of the over-dramatic, neurotic, slightly suicidal Iridian who they all were half-sure was related to Itoshiki-sensei. "Point, " Tsukiyomi conceded.

"Besides, " Kaede said, getting some close-ups of the chest wound. "I think zombies is on his phobias list this week."

"How do you figure?" Nashi asked.

"He asked me and Cygnus to make a chainsaw prosthetic for him after last movie night, " Kaede said. "Army of Darkness is not campy enough to overshadow the creepy necro stuff. There. Done. Now we can—"

Kaede's iPhone vibrated. He juggled his camera, pulling off a glove and the phone before Masuto rolled his eyes and snagged the phone, taking the call. "Hello? RT?"

The unearthly voice from the phone was frantic. "You've got company! One of Springfield's girls just broke in through the door you used! I think she's heading your way. Hide! Quick!"

Kaede swore, pushing the morgue drawer as quietly as he could and nearly crushing his fingers. "Immi?" he asked as he finally pulled off his gloves.

The girl was already making one of her seals, claiming the building as hers. "She's coming down the stairs. Whoever it is, I think she's heading for—"

The door clicked. They all froze. In the stillness, the scratching of a lock being picked could be made out.

Kaede frantically gestured at the overs, making a circling gesture with his hand around him. They got the idea, Masuto picking Nashi up and hauling him as Tsukiyomi frantically made another seal and Kaede hastily muttered his activation key. The seal of entropy to conceal their chi and other otherworldly 'tells' snapped into place around them as Kaede's Soei-jutsu surrounded them in darkness. They all held thier breaths.

The door clicked open. They heard footsteps, the quiet thumps as coffins were quietly opened.

Slowly, Kaede gestured, a small slit appearing in the wall of shadow he'd made to look like the darkest corner of the room. Bending to look, he peaked.

A slim, vaguely feminine figure was bent over the closest coffin, her back to them, doing something to the corpse within. Huh. Who'd have thought someone in 3-A was a closet Necrophile.

Then she bent down and unmistakably kissed the corpse on the lips. Kaede twitched, knowing he'd never look at 3-A the same way again. The girl spoke, and Tsukiyomi jerked as she heard the voice. Nashi hastily clamped a hand over her mouth. "You were a worthy opponent, " she said. "I hope that comforts you, wherever you are now."

Tsukiyomi made a muted, garbled sound that was barely recognizable, much less audible. The boys could take a wild guess at what it was, though.

"Setsuna-kohai 3 …!"

The 3-A girl closed the coffin once more and walked away. The Iridians waited in silence behind the wall, tense.

Then Kaede's phone buzzed again. "You're clear, " Kage-tan reported.

They all breathed a sigh of relief as Kaede let the wall collapse, and they stumbled away from each other.

"What was she doing?" Kuroro asked as they stretched.

"Kissing that corpse, if you can believe it, " Kaede said, jabbing a thumb at the coffin in question.

"Ew, " Masuto 'ew'-ed. "Ew, Ew, Ew!"

"Let's get out of here, " Nashi said. "Immi, can you dispel the— WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING?-!-?-!-?-!-?"

The boys turned and recoiled.

Tsukiyomi looked up from the open coffin, looking sheepish. "They won't notice if one went missing! Please? Pretty please? She looks so cute…"

"NO!" Masuto cried.

"Ew!" Kaede proclaimed, shuddering. "EW, EW, EW, EW, EW!'"

...

Meanwhile, as there was an ongoing investigation into Ack Sed's murder, a young girl who looked like she should be wielding a giant leak and was wearing a high-hemmed white dress was watching a movie.

And sniffling.

"No!" she cried. "James, it's okay! You don't have to fling yourself off the cliff, Katherina loves you!"

"But I am sorry, mi amore, " the man said to his tearful beloved, cupping her chin in his hands. "Perhaps, in another age, we could've been happy together, but alas! This world is cruel, and so, I must go."

"JAMES!" the girl cried, bursting into tears. "D-DON'T GO!"

But alas, the young man flung himself off the cliff.

Aiwa broke into unintelligible sobs. "J-James, " she sobbed.

...

- To be continued...

...

A/N: Yes, that's who you think it is. And if you spend a lot of time in the Negima fandom, yes, those are who you think you are too.

I regret nothing. LONG LIVE ALA IRIDIA!

Ahem.

Anyway, I have committed the grave sin of a Negima fanfic with a LOT of OCs. And not just any old OCs, but Author Avatars of certain (in)famous Negima writers (Ambrant Arandel was not available), as well of various helpful reviewers. This is set in the continuity of the Fanfic Decadent Habits, hence the name, and happens right after chapter 31.

Here's the current breakdown of who is who:

Senou Kaede: yours truly. Kaede is apparently a unisex name.

Chizuno Masuto: Overmaster, writer of the critically acclaimed (by other Negima readers) Unequally Rational and Emotional. READ IT!

Tenou ShikiL Cygan of the All Purpose Negima Fanfiction thread. I don't know if they have an account here.

Hoshino Namine- starwavegal of the All Purpose Negima Fanfiction Thread.

Arisugawa Setsuna- shanejayell of the far-spanning Arisugawa's Locket, a fixture in the yuri community.

Nihono Haku- Japanese Teeth

Fuho Saburou- Iniquitus the third

Asagiri Asagimaru- The Ansem Man, known as Cygnus in the All Purpose Negima Fanfiction Thread. Writer of Gehena's Holy Queen.

Kage-tan: Radical Taoist, of the All Purpose Negima Fanfiction Thread.

Chimaka Itoshi: Sereg5 of this site. Writer of Mahou Sensei Anya.

Sakuragi Tsukiyomi: the famous Immi, writer of Taken Day by Day, the penultimate Setsu-yomi fic on the site.

Aiwa Kimyou: Little Miss Independence, also known as Love is Weird, writer of the Disgaea/Negima/PMMM fic Presence of Hope.

Kazemaru Arashi: Anemoi, aka Zephyrus Anemoi Fiction of this site. Wrote Equal and Opposite Attraction.

Seigeno Nashi: No Limit 5 of this site. Wrote Negima Fanfic Theater 9000

Shashuno KuroroL Marq FJA. of the All Purpose Negima Fanfiction Thread.

Kageyama Yamiko/The Professor: Darkenning.

Ack Sed: the first murder victim. Writer of Haruna's Most EroEro Adventure.

Please review, C&C welcome.

Until next time, this is Shadow, signing off.