OK, this is my first fanfic for MGLN. I appreciate criticism, suggestions and comments. I'll admit right now that I don't have a lot planned out, I know what roles most people will take up (and no, you haven't seen everyone yet) and I have written down their past.
That aside this is going to be a high-school fic that lacks originality but hopefully makes it up with good characterization and story-telling ability. Well, I did say 'hopefully' and I wanted to give it a try. Now this is taking too much so I'll stop now. Enjoy.
The blurry image of a pretty girl.
Sad apologetic red eyes.
Her gentle voice, saying something she couldn't make out.
Screams of anguish, of rage.
It was her fault.
Every careful step, every breath, a sharp stabbing pain.
An hurried step, a sudden jolt.
Pain pain pain.
A cough, blood one her hand.
Fear. Panic. Terror.
Two arms wrapping around her.
Two blue eyes, a gentle voice, a sunny face.
Everything becomes dark.
"Whoa- ack!" Fate Testarossa rubbed her bottom after falling from her bed with all the grace of any half-asleep grumpy fifteen year old girl who had just been startled awake by her mother's yelling.
"I'm awake, I'm awake," she called back.
Groaning, she got back on her feet and went to the bathroom ignoring the pair of eyes that had been following her since her embarrassing tumble on the floor.
Fate had never been a morning person and the weird dream she had didn't help. She made a face trying to remember what exactly it was about but it was like trying to grasp smoke. The only thing left from it was a feeling of loneliness and a deep yearning.
Going back to her room to change for the day, she immediately found herself back under the gaze of those expectant blue eyes. She smiled and scratched her dog behind the ears, making her wag her tail happily.
"Good girl, Arf. Now let's go to get breakfast." With one last pat on the dog's head, Fate stood and made her way to the kitchen.
"Good morning, Fate. Ready for your first day?" Lindy smiled at the young blonde while sipping her cup of tea.
"Morning Lindy," she answered while feeding Arf, "I'll be fine."
"Still, I don't want you to push yourself too much, ok? And do make some friends, I don't like seeing you always on your own," the teal haired woman said while pushing anything she could in front of Fate.
"I'll try." For her part the blonde simply grabbed a cookie and a glass of juice refusing everything else.
"I'm serious Fate, Chrono will check you up to see if you're making friends with your new classmates. I know it won't be easy with the age difference, but please try," Lindy asked gently doing her best to encourage the young girl.
"Yes, I will. Promise."
Lindy affectionately ruffled her hair a bit before pushing her out of the house as the blonde was almost late to catch the bus.
Fate made it in time, and as soon as she got on the bus she could see some students wearing the TSAB high school uniform, the same one she herself was wearing. A few of them looked like upperclassmen and were already in groups talking among themselves, while others looked younger and were either shily looking around or whispering worriedly with who was sitting beside them.
'Well, I'm not even at school yet, so I don't have to look for friends now.'
Truth be told, she doubted she'd find any as most people seemed to take offence at her being... Well, Fate never really understood what the problem was. Maybe they were simply resentful of her good grades, and admittedly having skipped two years didn't help any. She guessed that no one liked being showed up by a girl two years their junior.
'Doesn't matter anyway. I've gone fifteen years without friends, I can keep going no problems.'
With a sigh she looked out of the window, stubbornly ignoring the melancholy weighting in her heart. It wasn't like she was opposed to the idea of having friends, but between the dislike the other girls usually had for her, the way boys eyed her, and the fact she had absolutely no idea on how to befriend people, Fate felt like she'd never fit in. Maybe it'd get better once she was out of school, but somehow she wasn't too sure about that. What if it actually got harder?
The movement from the other students alerted her that they reached the stop and she had to get off.
As she went followed the human current of students toward the school building she felt a bit of apprehension growing within her. The very first day of school, most first years only knew one or two people so they were all looking for new friends like her. That would be a good start... if she hadn't skipped two grades instead of just one. But since she had, she'd been enrolled in the second year, meaning her classmates won't just be two years older but they'd also already have formed their groups of friends.
Fate sighed again. Even if she already felt like an outcast even before the semester could begin, she had promised Lindy she'd try to find a friend and the least she could do after everything the woman had done for her was keeping her word. Clenching her fists, the blonde made her way to the school.
"Nanoha! Over here!"
A girl with reddish brown hair styled in an awkward side-ponytail looked up hearing her name called. Her pale blue eyes lit up as soon as she saw and recognized the brown haired girl calling her as well as the really short redhead standing beside her and glaring at everyone who passed them.
"Hayate! Vita!" Nanoha run to them only to be engulfed in a hug by the first girl. A weird hug in which somehow the brunette named Hayate managed to land her hands on her breasts and give a light squeeze.
"I can't believe you fell for that one Nanoha," Vita grumbled from the sidelines.
"Indeed, I didn't expect it to work, but it seems the summer vacation has dulled her senses as well as increased her sensitivity and volume." Hayate grinned broadly at her gaping friend who was now covering her chest while gaping at her.
"You... you... you've gotten worse! Much worse than you were last year! I didn't think that was possible!"
Hayate blinked at her friend's outburst.
"Nanoha-chan, dear, you're making a scene."
"Don't act like I'm the mad one!" Nanoha yelled so loud that she caught the attention of the whole yard.
Indeed, the only one who managed to remain completely apathetic to their squabble was the one standing less than two feet from them. Vita, in fact, was busy glaring at the new freshmen while muttering under her breath. On the bright side, her actions gave Nanoha and Hayate an excuse to change the topic from the use of sexual harassing as a form of greeting.
"Hey Vita-chan, why are you trying to make the first years explode with your eyes? Sore about the fact every single one of them is taller than you?" Nanoha joked good-naturedly, only to get a scathing look herself.
"One of these days I'll have a sudden grow sprout and then you'll be sorry," the smaller girl growled.
"Yeah Nanoha-chan," Hayate interjected, "you shouldn't tease Vita-chan just because she's a late bloomer and hasn't hit puberty yet at the tender age of seventeen."
"...I'll destroy you."
Chuckling, Nanoha engulfed both girls in a group hug while apologizing to the redhead.
"As crazy as it sounds I missed you during summer break. I'm almost happy to be back to school," she confessed before letting them go.
Hayate made a shocked face at the last sentence and was about to reply when a new voice interrupted her.
"Happy to be back? Well, that isn't something I'd have expected to hear from you Takamachi."
The three girls turned to face the new arrival. Light brown hair tied in two tails, golden eyes looking down at them from behind circular frameless glasses.
"Quattro. Did you actually hide in the library and spent the whole summer here waiting to ambush us or do you simply have an horrible good timing for spoiling our time?"
"I wasn't talking with you, Yagami," the girl called Quattro said disdainfully, "I just wanted to ask Takamachi if she plans to join the math club this year, or if she plans to waste whatever brains she has in the kendo club with the lolita brute."
Nanoha flinched at the remark knowing blood will be shed today. Not even two seconds after those words were said, in fact, Vita gleefully stomped on Quattro's foot with all the force she had, which was quite a lot. The physically small girl then grabbed her friends' wrists and dragged them into the building without giving the glasses-wearing girl the chance to do anything.
"Vita, slow down," Hayate pleaded.
"Shut up and hurry, use those longer legs you're so proud of! I'm not getting detention before the school year even starts!"
"Again," Nanoha added with a grin.
"...again," Vita conceded remembering the beginning of the previous year when she actually managed that feat. It was all that damn boy's fault, though, asking her if she got lost and pointing her to the elementary school. She didn't look that young, dammit! Vita never regretted punching him, if anything she was sorry she hadn't managed to break his nose.
"Vita Eisen." the three girls turned to see a tall pink-haired scowling at them.
"Uh... Heiya, Signum. How was your summer? Have you already decided when the first club meeting will be, captain?" Vita tried to be cheerful despite the third-year girl narrowing her eyes.
"Eisen, you and your friend Takamachi are talented and good members, but if you plan to get yourself and my club in trouble, I'll personally remove the both of you."
"You're gonna remove us from the team?" Vita looked really distraught at the thought.
"...yeah. From the team," Signum Wolken agreed.
None of the three friends could quite ignore the pause before that, though.
"Classroom," Nanoha spoke up, "we really, really need to get to our classroom and try to get a good desk. The ones near the windows are to first to go, you know, just like on the bus. See ya around."
This time it was the young Takamachi's turn to drag her friends away.
Trotting down the corridors packed with students, it still didn't take them more than five minutes to find the classroom which proudly displayed the '2-C' sign they were looking for, and once inside they were immediately greeted by two other close friends.
"Arisa! Suzuka! I'm so happy to see you!" Nanoha smiled broadly at them.
"Hey, you didn't say me and Vita you were happy to see us," Hayate whined petulantly.
"I was going to when someone decided to sexually assault me," Nanoha deadpanned.
"Oh my." Suzuka, a girl with long purple hair, giggled and covered her smile with an hand.
Arisa, the blonde standing next to her, simply rolled her eyes at her friends' antics. Her attempt to act cool, however, was betrayed by the worried glances she sent Hayate. The timing with which she chose to cross her arms over her chest as soon as Nanoha had told them what happened was also suspicious.
The group of five started chatting among themselves, catching up and telling what they hadn't already texted each other about their summer. There was a tense moment when Quattro came in and sat down on her desk, which thankfully managed to be on the opposite side of the room.
They were distracted from her glaring daggers at them by a green eyed blond boy wearing glasses coming in soon after her.
"Hey girls, why none of you waited for me? Aren't we friends?" he asked with fake sadness.
"Nope, we're friends only when we go shopping, I need to copy your homework, I need a model for my creations, or we have to move big and heavy things, Yuuno. Actually that last case doesn't count either, you're not reliable enough in the physical strenght department," Hayate answered, causing everyone to giggle at her joke.
"You're evil, who cares about you? Nanoha still likes me, right?"
Faced with her male friend sad and almost imploringly expression, the blue eyed girl couldn't help agreeing with him.
"Sure Yuuno-kun, I'm still your friend," she said, then seeing an opportunity too good to pass up she added "at least until I'll have heavy boxes to move around. Then I'll find another boy friend."
This prompted a round of laughter from the whole group and a slap on her back from Hayate. Their happy time together was soon cut short when the bell rang announcing the start of the first hour of the first day of the school year.
Nanoha, who on virtue of loosing at rock-paper-scissors was sitting in the first row near the window, turned back to look at Vita and Hayate who, thanks to the latter's tactical application of paper against rock, were sitting just behind her. Suzuka and Arisa were behind them in the third row while Yuuno had actually claimed the seat next to Nanoha as he always sat in the first row.
"Do you know who we have now?" she asked.
"No, I just hope it isn't Sc-" Vita couldn't finish her thought as the class door was slammed open none to gently by the very same teacher she was hoping to not see until... well, to be honest Vita had hoped he had an accident during summer break and wouldn't be able to come back tortur- teaching. Or if not an accident, he could have been kidnapped. Or gotten lost. Or arrested.
Someone as evil as Jail Scaglietti must have done something that would warrant an imprisonment sentence, Vita was sure of it.
"Welcome back to another exciting year of learning everyone," Scaglietti began with a big smile on his face that only increased his students' apprehension.
"Now, as a first thing, headmistress Carim has asked me to introduce you to your new classmate, miss..." He trailed off and took out a paper from his pocket from which he read the name.
"..Testarossa. Who apparently, despite her young age, showed more than enough intelligence to join this class. Not really hard since with few exceptions -here he made a nod toward Quattro and threw a glance at Nanoha- the average here is lower than Eisen-san's shoulders."
Vita resumed her counting the days separating her from graduation from where she left it before summer vacation. As soon as this rotten rat didn't have his title of teacher over her she was going to splat him. Quattro, who snickered quite loudly, was going to get hers during lunch break.
Nanoha glanced at her friend, worried that the redhead may do something that would get her expelled. Once she was reassured she wasn't going to throw her desk at their teacher, she turned back to the front of the class where very beautiful girl was standing shyly.
The brunette blinked but the beautiful girl was still there. Furthermore, she talked and did so with a soft, melodic voice.
"I'm Fate Testarossa, from today on I'll be your classmate. Please take care of me." She bowed formally.
"Scaglietti-sensei said you were younger than us?" Quattro very rudely, in Nanoha's opinion, asked. It wasn't even a proper question to tell the truth, but a statement said as a question. Nanoha didn't know why it irritated her so much but if she could get away with it she'd have thrown something at Quattro.
"Yes, I'm fifteen, I skipped two grades," Fate said looking down to avoid making eye-contact with anyone.
Those words caused loud whispers to travel through the classroom. Nanoha herself didn't know how to react to the news except feeling a certain kinship with Vita because quite frankly, Testarossa was both taller and more endowed than her. While being fifteen, which meant she's probably still growing. Talk about feeling inadequate.
Scaglietti choose this moment to grab their attention once again.
"Very well Testarossa, you can take this papers, sit down, keep one and pass the rest. Since all presents managed to be admitted to the second year you should be able to score at least a 70 in this test about your summer homework. Of course I'll be deeply disappointed with anyone who doesn't actually reach a 80, but I'm used to disappointment working with high schoolers."
Horror was too weak of a word to express how the class felt.