Tales Of Sayo's Harem
#1: Sayo/Sayo by Japanese Teeth
The vampire looked up from videogame to see Sayo floating in the air above her. Normally she would have been annoyed by the intrusion, but out of all the people who had been randomly showing up in her resort lately, the ghost was one of the least annoying. She resumed playing as she answered.
"Yeah, what do you want?"
"I was wondering if you could do me a favor." The ghost answered, making a noted effort to avoid eye contact.
"What is it?"
"Well, you did that thing where you enchanted objects so that I could actually touch them more easily, and I was wondering if you could do it again..."
"I thought you'd been practicing manipulating objects without my help." Evangeline grumbled.
"Well, that requires quite a bit of concentration, and I, uh...can't really concentrate when I use it... so..."
Evangeline put down the controller and glared at the ghost with a beady eye.
"What is it that you want me to enchant for you?"
"It's...in here..." Sayo didn't even look at Eva as she dropped a paper bag on the floor. "When I actually try to...use it...I can't concentrate well enough to hold onto it..."
Eva sighed as she snatched the bag off the floor. Her eyes widened as she peered into it. She looked back at Sayo, who was staring intently at the floor. Despite not having any blood, skin, or any other physical constructs, she was blushing so hard that she nearly glowed.
"I can understand your...problem..." Eva said as she closed the bag. "Of course your attention would be elsewhere... Where did you get this thing, anyway?"
"Asakura ordered it for me..." Sayo mumbled.
"Should've known." Eva said. "I have that same model. Well worth it. Enchanting this thing shouldn't be a problem. You can pick it up this afternoon."
"Thanks!" Sayo finally looked up at Evangeline, smiling shyly. "I..uh..I should get going." Without another word she spun around and phased through the wall.
Evangeline just shook her head and turned back to the television.
The next morning, the previously burnt-out rumors of the ghost that haunted the 3-A classroom were back in full force, fueled by numerous accounts of prolonged, ghostly screaming coming from the windows. Outside, Asakura was walking to class, with Sayo floating awkwardly along behind her. After an uncomfortably long silence, Asakura spoke up.
"You know, just because they can't see you doesn't mean they can't hear you."
"Well, I know now..."
#2: Sayo/Yuna by Iniquitus
The orange ball went up, up, soaring through the air in a perfect parabola to bounce off the edge of the rim—
"Come on, come on!"
—Spinning and rolling around, perfectly balanced beween victory and loss—
"Go in, damn you!"
—Finally tumbling over and down into the circle, sending the net attached beneath it into spasms.
"Yes!", Yuna cheered, punching the air. Cameras flashed, the stands erupted with cheering supporters and the clock hit zero to signal the Mahora Basketball tem's first-ever interschool victory.
The player breathed out, hearing the lonely sound of the basketball bouncing on the ground fill the deserted practice court. "Now, if only I can do that in a game, " she sighed, and started jogging from the halfway line to pick the ball up.
A faint cheering sound still rang in her ears, the girl putting it down to her vivid imagination as she reached the rolling ball and bent over to pick it up.
When she stood back up, Yuna blinked once and rubbed her eyes. "Strange, " she said to herself. "Could have sworn I just saw..."
She shrugged and put it up to being tired out from training. One hand went up and she brushed the worst of the sweat from her brow, and Yuna turned around to go back to the midway point. One out of twenty from halfway wasn't too bad, right...?
When she reached the middle again, her knees bent and she brought the ball near her midriff, angling it to fly up high—
Yuna blinked and went back to her position, rubbing her eye again. There it was again! A white-haired girl, standing alone in the stands (well, hovering, really, but Yuna had never been the semantic type) and holding up a homemade piece of cardboard with 'GO, YUNA!' written on it. She frowned, memories of her ghostbusting attempts going to her head. This girl sure looked a heck of a lot like Sayo-chan...
She smiled warmly, giving a thumbs-up to where the apparation had been, and wound herself up for another throw. Well, it was a start to the legions of screaming fans, she thought to herself, and threw the ball again.
Nothing but net.
#3: Sayo/Asakura (plus Sextum) by Iniquitus
Sextum laced her fingers together and peered at Kazumi Asakura over the top of them.
Gendo Ikari did not sneeze. He simply sighed meaningfully vis-a-vis his pose being ripped off yet again.
"...I will accept no less than five times a week, " she said finally in a too-even tone.
Asakura pulled a face. "Whaaaat? No way, Fatette. I've got needs too. Well, " she conceded after a moment. "Apart from those kinds of needs."
Sextum might have narrowed her eyes a tad. "Four, then, and twice if she takes over on a weekend day."
"That's the exact same deal you just offered, " Asakura retorted, shifting her legs out from under her.
"And if I add in my services as a daytime soul jar?"
The news reporter bit her lip. It was tempting, to be sure... "I dunno, seems a bit monopolistic. Whaddaya say, Sayo-chan?"
The class ghost drifted around Sextum, looking her over. "We-e-elll... it's really what we've been looking for, isn't it, Asakura-san? And even if I'm in her body, it's still me you'll be with, right?", she asked hopefully.
"I... guess so, " Asakura said after another silence of thought. She pulled out a page of paper that looked remarkably like a contract because it was in fact a contract. "Righto, then, Sexy-ch—"
Sextum's icy glare silenced her near-instantly.
"Uh, Sextum-chan, just sign down here and we've got it sorted."
The Averruncus breathed out in near-silent relief. It was done. She'd achieved her goal.
Nodoka looked away from the usual chaos and havoc that described Ala Alba. "Ah, Fate-san, do you know where Sextum-san might be?", she asked of the group's newest honorary member.
Fate fought to keep his expression straight as he wondered idly how this group had managed to stay focused long enough to stop him. "I believe Sextum is negotiating how many times a week she gets to have Sayo-san inside her."
The class reporter sat, her brilliant mind turning over the situation for the dozenth time, approaching the question from all angles, before finally admitting defeat. Surely, the question she was mulling over had an answer, but she simply did not have enough knowledge in this field to begin to formulate that sentence of truth. This, she felt, needed to go to a higher authority on the subject to be resolved.
"Yo!", the mangaka answered cheerfully as she turned her head to Asakura.
"Does it still count as a threesome if only two bodies are involved?"
#4: Sayo/Yue by Iniquitus
The petite lirbrarian strolled along the top of the bookcases, deep in the bowels of Library Island. She absent-mindedly brought a small box with 'PP UP' scrawled across it to her lips and sipped, glancing at a map she held and her mountaineering equipment clanging.
"Right, so we need to hop down at the next three-way, go down the cases three flights, then get over Old Boney and we're almost there, " she said, as if to herself.
Well, not really herself, as it turned out. Next to her a short, white-haired ghost girl hovered along, looking more than a little scared of the dark caverns the library seemed to have grown since her last visit. "U-um, Yue-chan, are you sure this is the right way? I-I mean, it's really dark and the bookcases all look the same..."
"Don't worry, Sayo-chan, " Yue said back with an encouraging smile, turning away from looking where she was going for a moment. "You wanted to know if Library Island had your family tree somewhere, right? That's what the Library Island Exploration Club is for. Trust me, I'm a—"
Yue's foot caught on the edge of a slightly-raised bookshelf top, coupling with a cunningly-placed intersection that had her whirling her arms to stay upright, failing horribly and falling forwards into the blackness.
A faintly-glowing white-sleeved arm shot out and caught her by the hand, and her fall stopped in one breathless moment of jerking. Yue dangled over the pit, panicked breath coming quickly and hands trembling a little in anger at herself.
Wait. Who's holding onto—
She had to cut her thought short as she felt herself being lifted like a twig and thrown back as gently as was possible into the middle of the shelftop, away from the edge. Splayed and shocked, Yue blinked at the girl who'd just lifted her like a doll.
"Y-Yue-chan? Are you okay?", Sayo squeaked and hovered just above her, the burst of worried strength fading and her face adorably concerned. "Y-you're okay, right? Right? Please, stay awake, Yue-chan..."
"I-I'm fine, " Yue said at last, snapping out of her reverie and sitting up. She looked Sayo dead in the eye and held out a hand that went for the ghost's cheek—
—And Sayo couldn't have been sure, but she could have sworn she felt a little tingle where the fingertips went through her translucent skin—
"I'm fine, Sayo-chan. Thank you for saving me like that, " Yue repeated slowly, a grateful smile curving her lips as she looked at the shyest girl of them all.
#5: Sayo/Ako by Sereg
Sayo floated out of the classroom with her shoulders slumped and her head hanging forward. She was right behind the sports girls. "Any plans for this afternoon?" asked Makie.
"I have to head to the nurse's office." replied Ako. "I have responsibilities. I'll see you again later."
"Oh, right." said Makie. "See you then. Bye."
Of course! thought Sayo. Ako-chan is the class nurse! She floated after Ako and waited for her shift to end.
Ako left the nurse's office to find Sayo floating in front of her. "Oh, hello Sayo-chan." she greeted the ghost.
"Hello, Ako-chan." replied Sayo. "May I speak to you?"
"Of course!" replied Ako. They ducked into an abandoned classroom for some privacy. "What s it?"
"Well...I know that you're the nurse, so you see sick and injured people all the time, right?" asked Sayo.
"That's right." Ako replied with a nod.
"Have-have you ever had one of your patients die?"
"No! Thank goodness, no!"
"I see..." sighed Sayo. "I expected as much. But being dead...is...I guess it's a lot like being sick, right? But-but it can't be cured...at least...I heard stories about people being brought back to life, but those were short periods of time...not...years...right?"
"That's right." sighed Ako. "I'm sorry that I can't help you."
"It's just that..." Sayo began, "I enjoyed being part of the group in the magical world, but now that we're back, it's like I've been put on the sidelines again! I'm a ghost, so spending time with me is something that only the girls from the class can do and they're all busy getting back to their old lives that don't involve me! It...makes being dead a lot harder."
"I see." said Ako with a gentle smile. "I may still be alive, but I know exactly what it feels like to seem like a side character. An observer. One who watches as others do the amazing things. But someone that I admire told me that we are all the main characters of our own story and I've learned to live like that."
"Could-could you teach me?" asked Sayo.
"Of course!" replied Ako with a smile. "I won't leave you on the sidelines. I'll be with you the whole time!"
#6: Sayo/Akira by Iniquitus
Akira Okochi loved the peacefulness of being underwater. In her more depressed moments (which she had, being a teenager who didn't mainline happy pills), she imagine it as being a lot like being dead. Everything was so sluggish, so calm and unshaken, and she could turn around and watch the ripples of her entry fae away. All very philosophical.
She never wanted to drown, although she'd come close once.
It had been shortly after the return to Mahora Academy, when she'd gone to the pool to wash off all manner of things, mostly exhaustion. She'd picked her timing carefully to make sure no one else was around, had changed quickly and slid into the cool water.
There'd been no real attempts to swim a few laps, no effort. Just sinking slowly to the bottom of the pool and hesitant thoughts about what she could really do for the world, with so many powerful and influential people like Negi-sensei.
Akira let a single bubble escape her lips, turning around to gaze at the mirror-like surface. It had shaken her, the realisation that she would be just another footnote instead of the world-changer she'd secretly believed she'd be. Why try so hard to change the world when Negi-sensei was doing more than you ever could?
Her eyes gazed through the dimming waters, and found a vague figure on the other side of the mirror. Akira moved off the bottom of the pool, squiting against the light. For a moment, it looked like her, but then she moved closer and the silhouette turned into a girl with white hair and a billowing sailor uniform, smiling at her.
The swimmer's brow furrowed. Who was she? Why was she here? Her arm reached out for the surface, legs finding the bottom of the pool and coiling to push her up, up, aiming for her—
Akira broke the surface with a splash, droplets flying and scattering in the light, her lungs heaving to suck in air she hadn't noticed she was craving. For a brief second, she felt scared at how she'd drifted away so easily.
Then, her fist tightened by her side, and Akira Okochi looked at her own reflection again, the glimmering sun giving her hair in the water-mirror a white tint. First, she'd find out who that had been.
Then? She was just going to have to find a cause to fight for.
#7: Sayo/Misa by Darkenning
"Kakizaki?" the ghost said shyly as she floated along behind the cheerleader.
"... I love you."
"That's nice. You're still not getting any action until we find that buried treasure you told me about, " Misa said flatly as she shifted the pick and shovel to her other shoulder.
#8: Sayo/Asuna by Darkenning
So here she was again, staying after class in vague hopes of improving herself. And she didn't even have the excuse of wanting to spend as much time with her teacher as she possibly could, like she'd had last year. Admittedly, she'd warmed up to the brat, but he was never no way no how going to take Takahata-sensei's place in her heart. And to make matters worse, he'd gotten called away to handle something while telling her to keep right on studying verb tenses. So lame!
She did try. She did. But her head just wasn't in the game, and so she looked for distractions.
"Hey, Sayo-chan, you here right now?" Asuna asked out of nowhere.
"I'm right behind you, actually, " said the ghost.
Once Asuna's heart rate reached normal levels, she slowly turned around to smile brightly at her second oldest classmate. "You're getting better at scaring people, " she told her pleasantly.
"Really?" Sayo asked, looking pathetically eager for approval.
It hadn't really been a compliment, but maybe she should just let it go. So Asuna just nodded. "Would you feel up to giving me a hand with this?" she asked, indicating her quiz papers with a jerk of her head.
"I'd be willing, " Sayo said hesitantly. "But I don't know how much help I'll be. I can only really remember one out of every ten lessons in English that I've ever had."
Asuna wondered how many lessons that added up to, over the decades. However, she sucked at math too. "Well, any help is better than no help at all, and I need all the help I can get. But I guess you'd know that, right? After all, you've seen me in here with Takahata-sensei how many times?"
"Quite a few, " Sayo admitted as she floated over to consider the sheets.
"Ah well. Nothing new for you, right? You've probably seen dozens of silly girls like me with crushes on their teachers, right?"
"You're not silly, " said Sayo, and looked right at her. "And I've only ever seen one girl like you."
Asuna found herself blushing.
By the time Negi came back, they'd made more progress on verb tenses than Asuna had made in the last two years of English.
#9: Sayo/Misora by Sereg
Misora crept towards the class room carrying her supplies. She opened the door and looked inside. "Hello." Sayo greeted her from right in front of her face.
"Yaaaaaaaah!" screeched Misora. "Adeat!" She quickly transformed into her pactio outfit.
"No!" cried Sayo. "Please don't run!" Misora froze. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to scare you." Misora slumped.
"It's okay, Sayo-chan." she sighed. "I just wasn't expecting you to be here and suddenly seeing a ghost right in front of you in the middle of the night is not pleasant." Sayo drooped.
"I really am sorry." she said. "I was just so excited that someone had come over. It's so lonely and scary here at night. I don't usually stay in the classroom."
"That explains why I've never seen you here before when I've set up previous pranks." Misora said, furrowing her eyebrows. "Where do you usually go?"
"I usually go to the convenience store." Sayo replied.
"I see." replied Misora.
"So if you weren't expecting to see me here, what did you come here for?" Sayo asked.
"I was just going to set up some pranks." replied Misora.
"You set up pranks for others, but you know from experience what it's like to be scared?" asked Sayo. "Isn't that rather cruel?"
"Of course, not!" replied Misora. "The fact that get scared more easily than the others makes me the perfect prankster, because I know that if I can handle a prank, the others will be able to as well! Besides, there are good things about being scared! If it wasn't for me being scared, I would have never ended up as fast as I am now as I wouldn't have run as much! The adrenaline gives you such a wonderful feeling! Just ask Natsumi-san about how much she enjoys that feeling before she gets on stage. When I prank someone, their day s filled with excitement and then laughter!"
"That...does sound nice." admitted Sayo. "Certainly far better than the feeling of dread and loneliness I feel when I'm by myself at night."
"Hey, what if we hang out together at night?" suggested Misora. "That way instead of loneliness and dread, we'll only have the fun kind of fear of being caught! And I can teach you how to prank and you can help me with my pranks. And if we want to prank each other, that will be fun too!"
"That sounds wonderful!" said Sayo with a smile.
#10: Sayo/Chachamaru by Iniquitus
Chachamaru waited at the cafe, staring a little helplessly at the cup of coffee she'd been forced to order to avoid being evicted. Though she was technically masterless and free, freedom tended to become very morally complicated, and for now the gynoid was perfectly happy proceeding as before while gradually trying out small bits of independence.
She still had no idea why she was waiting — Saotome-san had restricted herself to winking and constantly saying 'It's a seeeeecreeeeet' in a sing-song voice. The gynoid exhaled air and shrugged her shoulders minutely in replication of a human mannerism called the sigh. (Twenty minutes helping her spy on Miyazaki-san speaking with Negi-sensei had provided adequate samples from which to reverse-engineer this action.)
All of a sudden, her aural sensors picked up the sound of an irregular, hesitant tread heading in her direction. The sounds were coming very close very fas—
Just as Chachamaru turned, a short, white-haired girl with red eyes and an old-fashioned uniform tripped and fell down onto the pavement, squeaking. Chachamaru reacted almost instantly, her lightning-speed reflexes letting her fall to one knee and slide two arms around the girl's torso to catch her fall.
"A-ah... thanks, Chachamaru-san, " the girl sighed in relief and reflexively hugged the gynoid.
Chachamaru's head tilted. Something was... strange about this girl. Not bad-strange, but more her internal categories getting confused as to which one this girl belonged to. Why...? "It was no problem. You resemble Aisaka Sayo, " she returned quietly, strangely feeling reluctant to release the girl.
"That's right! Ah, Chachamaru-san, what do you think of my new body? I asked Haruna-san to draw me a body with her artifact so I could help out just like in the Magical World, and I..." Sayo blushed and looked away, suddenly aware of how she was going to phrase the next part. "Um, just kinda thought that you, uh, um, might h-have a few ideas about how to deal with, u-um, living in a body like this...?"
Chachamaru's visual sensors found the cat-ears hiding demurely in the long, beautiful white hair at the exact moment the little white-orange tail poked out from her skirt and stroked over the touch sensors of her hand in gratitude and affection.
In the bushes, Yue turned to Haruna with an expression as close to horror as it could get. "You made her into a catgirl?", she whispered incredulously.
"Of course I did, Yuecchi!", Haruna chirped back, watched Chachamaru's cheeks turn a luminescent red as her internal logic core began overheating.
"...Why?", Yue managed despairingly.
The mangaka raised a disappointed eyebrow at her friend. "You think that I would pass up an opportunity such as this, Yuecchi? Pah, " she snorted elegantly. Somehow. "Ye of little faith."
Hakase rubbed her eyes blearily as she stood at the door of her dorm room, staring fuzzily at an impatient-and-disheveled-looking Chachamaru. Behind her, Chisame sighed and shifted positions in her sleep. "Loo', Chachamar', I did say you coul' com' to m' at any time if you neede' something, but thiss bett' be goo' for interrupting my 'Chiu-sama' time..."
Chachamaru reached out and pressed into her hand a list of acts written on a piece of paper by an excited and detailed and above all else inventive mind.
"...You wan' me to upgrade you so you c'n do wha'?"
Haruna walked into class the next day with a large slap mark on her face.
Nodoka put her hand over her mouth in shock at the sight. "Haruna! What happened?"
Haruna gingerly lowered herself into her seat, moving her head as little as possible. "Let's just say that putting time limits on body-imitation constructs that run out in the middle of the night is not a good idea."
#11: Sayo/Madoka by Iniquitus
The last echoing chords of the song faded away to rapturous applause, and Dekopin Rocket, as one schoolgirl, took a bow before their legions of fans.
Well, all except Madoka. She crossed her arms and shook her head. "Wow. Um, okay. I think we might need a little bit more practice before the festival comes along. I also think that we—"
She opened one eye and realised that no one was listening to her. Ako was absentmindedly packing away her gear with a faraway smile on her face that Madoka had come to realise meant she was daydreaming about Negi-sensei's hot cousin, Sakurako had whipped out a copy of the newspaper and was hunting the lottery section and Misa was sparkling with the kind of look that told Madoka she was fantasising about grown-up Negi-sensei.
"AHEM!", she coughly loudly into her microphone, causing her bandmates to jump. Satisfied that they were listening, Madoka went towards the start of the stage. "C'mon, people, we need to get it together. The festival's coming up fast, and if we mess up on that stage, we're screwed!"
Misa waved her hand. "Ah, don't worry, Kugimin, " she said to the backdrop of Madoka's eye twitching. "We members of 3-A move up to the plate when it really matters, rgiht?"
Sakurako nodded empathetically. "Yeah! Just you wait, Kugimin, we'll blow them away!", she chirped cheerily as she began to stow her gear in the storage shed.
Madoka still looked unsure (and perhaps a bit ticked-off), so Ako went up to her and lightly touched her shoulder, smiling as her friend turned. "Don't worry, Kugimi, " she said reassuringly, still looking a bit dream-dazed and grinny. "I'll be sure to practice hard — I don't want nagi-san to look down on me, after all."
"Look, I know you say that now, Ako, but..." Madoka bit her lip, looking slightly mollified. "I know what it's like to promise something and then drop that four hours later."
Ako looked up, sighing. "Listen, Kugimin—"
"Don't call me that!"
"—Kugimi, I know that we've passed up deadlines in the past, all of us have, but trust me when I say that we've all got our reasons for doing this right." Ako looked into her friend's eyes with a fiery resolve that Madoka rarely got to see from her, before she bent down to close the latches on her guitar's case. She rose, shouldering her case and leaning in to draw Madoka into a one-armed hug.
"...We'll be fine, Kugimi, " she said quietly, smiling even as Madoka cheek's reddened slightly at their closeness. "We'll get it under control, okay?", Ako grinned reassuringly and turned to leave, leaving Madoka to blink once and look after her.
Then she blinked again and realised that she still had her guitar around her neck, while her friends were finished packing up and were leaving. Madoka blushed, realising that they weren't the only ones who could forget about things, and hopped off the stage to dig out her guitar case.
When Madoka stood, she was met by the faint image of a girl in a sailor uniform sitting in the bottom row of the stands, long white hair that went down her shoulders and soft red eyes.
"Aaaah!", the girl yelped back in response, throwing her arms up in mirror to Madoka's.
"Aaaah!", Madoka shouted, realising that this... girl?... had probably been watching throughout the entire horrid practice.
"Aaaah!", the girl screamed back helplessly, surprised at being discovered.
"Aaaah?", Madoka yelled at something a step below maximum volume, easing back on her surprise.
"Aaaah?", the girl returned cautiously, audibly becoming quieter.
"Aaaah, " Madoka said back, her heart stopping with the racing.
"Ah?", the girl mumbled almost helplessly, still locking eyes with her.
"Ah, " Madoka sighed, sitting down and laying her guitar down gingerly for fear of damaging it.
Silence reigned for a few precious moments.
"Ah... Stranger-chan?", Madoka tried. "You... who are you, exactly? I mean, it's just that Ive never seen you before, " she backpedalled, thinking to herself about the similarities between her and Ako.
"N-no problem, " the girl said back after a few moments, sitting down on the ground. "My name is Aisaka Sayo, " she added moments later, bowing her head.
Madoka blinked in surprise. Isn't that the name of... "Wait, " she said, pointing at Sayo. "As in seat-number 1?"
The girl nodded.
"Um, " Madoka said, feeling stunned and perhaps a bit annoyed. And after all that palaver about a ghost that didn't turn out to be real, it casually turned out to have been right all along? "Um."
She raised an arm to put over her temple, grasping for something to say to not seem rude. "...So, uh, Sayo-chan, why're you here? As in, watching us practise? Isn't there more..." Madoka floundered. "...Ghostly stuff for you to do?"
Sayo shook her head. "N-no, not really. I, um, may be a ghost, but I'm not actually that kind of person. I mean, I get scared when I'm in the classroom by myself, and I scare myself when I'm trying to scare others—"
"You certainly managed to scare the heck out of us in the classroom, " Madoka interjected sardonically, becoming more relaxed.
"R-really?", Sayo said, blushing and pushing the tips of her fingers together. "Th-thank you... Um. Anyway, I can get out of the classroom now, and I like spending time just following my classmates around. I want to know more about them, " Sayo said, beaming.
...Isn't that called stalking?, Madoka thought to herself, but refrained from saying it out loud. "So, uh, " she said slowly. "Why're you here?"
"Here?", Sayo repeated, and all of a sudden she seemed to shrink in on herself. "W-well... you know, M-Madoka-san, I-I wanted to learn a-about you, a-and I also... like watching you play, " she finished nervously and quickly.
Madoka felt a slight tone of red go into her cheeks. "R-really? Well, uh, thanks, " she replied, scratching the back of her head awkwardly and wondering why she felt a tingle down her spine.
The two fell silent again, looking away from each other.
"Yes?", Sayo said, her head going up.
"Listen, Sayo-chan, " Madoka began. "If... if you ever feel scared, late— Wait, can you enter the dorms?"
The ghost girl's mouth opened, then closed as she thought about the answer. "I... maybe? I'm not sure, I've never really tried..."
"Well, if you can, and if you ever feel scared, and if you can stay out of sight of the rest of the class..." Madoka went a tad more red, pointedly looking away from Sayo. "...I usually can't sleep because of nerves for the concert anyway, so if..." Madoka tried again.
Sayo's mouth opened into a little 'o' shape and she realised what Madoka was offering, her hand going over her mouth. She smiled slowly and leaned forward, ghostly hand passing through Madoka's cheek — and just the faintest whisper of a brush of skin was felt — as she met Madoka's eyes.
"I'd like that, " she said gently.
The door burst into splinters, and Sayo had barely enough time to blink before she was tackled and thrown to the ground, one hand pinning her wrist to the floor while the other wrapped around her neck.
The short, black-haired girl who'd attacked her snarled, rage etched on her features as she brought one fist up which – oddly enough – had a shield strapped to it. "How dare you touch my Madoka, you little—"
The girl paused, turning her head to look up at Madoka, who had yelped and jumped back at the sudden intrusion, noting her overall lack of petiteness and non-pink hair. "Ah."
She got up, releasing Sayo, and bowed to the two of them. "Sorry, wrong person, " she said shortly and awkwardly, turning and leaving the room again.
"...What?", Madoka said succinctly, blinking in confusion.
Sayo massaged her neck. "I don't know either, Madoka-chan, " she rasped. "All I said was what you would wish for, if you had the chance..."
#12: Sayo/Ku Fei by Japanese Teeth
"This is final test of your training-aru!" Ku Fei said as she dramatically stroked her oversized fake mustache. "Strike the dummy, and your training will be complete!"
"Yes, master Ku!" Negi took his stance as he faced the sandbag that Ku had set up on the platform. He had no idea how this had anything to do with his training. Perhaps it was some sort of symbolic act. Either way, punching the bag couldn't be too hard. "YAH!" He shouted as he thrust an arm at the bag.
To his surprise, his hand was now next to the bag rather than through it. It must have fallen over. No matter. He struck out with his other hand. And now the bag had slumped in the other direction. This was embarrassing. His master was giggling madly as she watched; her dignity only maintained by the fact that the beard she had strapped to her face concealed most of her laughter. After muffing two attacks on a stationary object, there was no way he was missing on this attempt. There was one part of the bag that definitely couldn't move. He took a few steps back, and with a shout sprinted forward. As he reached the bag, he dropped to the ground, throwing a sliding kick at the bag's base.
Without warning, the bag rose into the air. Negi shot underneath it, off of the platform and landed in a stack of training equipment with a crash. The bag flopped back onto the platform as Sayo emerged from it. The ghost and the martial artist exchanged winks before Sayo faded back into invisibility. She cackled as she watched Negi extricate himself.
"It seems you still have much to learn-aru!"
#13: Sayo/Konoka by Darkenning
"Konoka, I have more details for you. Come downstairs, " the tiny vampire ordered bluntly, and started heading down the stairs with the clear expectation that she'd be followed.
Konoka promptly and wisely did follow her downstairs to the cottage's living room, where Evangeline regarded her pensively.
"All right, " she said after a moment. "I'm going to say something now that I would never say in front of the boya, and if you repeat it to him, I will kill you in your sleep. The area in which you will be strongest is something that I have, as you already know, only a theoretical understanding. So while I will guide your experiments in healing as best as I can, you're going to have to make your own path. So I will not require you to call me Master like I require it of him. All right?"
Konoka nodded, not yet trusting herself to speak.
"In the meanwhile, I will teach you basic magical self-defense, though not to the same degree as the boya, so that you will not get yourself killed before you become the great healer mage everyone thinks you can be. Those lessons will start shortly. Any questions?"
"Just one, " Konoka said slowly, as the thought took form in her mind. "The sort of magic that I can do ... would it be useful for interacting with ghosts?"
Evangeline frowned. This was a little unexpected. "To a degree, yes. Healing magic involves strengthening the soul so that it forces the body to recover more quickly than it ordinarily would. It's the same coin, just a different face, from the sorts of spells that let you fight off spirits and the —"
"I don't want to fight anyone, " Konoka interjected, shaking her head. "When I said interact, I really meant communicate. Or ... touch."
Now Eva blinked. "Huh. That's interesting. So you know about Sayo?" she asked at length.
"That is her name?" Konoka pressed, eyes shining now. "I know that's the name on the register, but I wasn't sure. I only see her some of the time, you see, but she always looks so sad."
"Huh, " said Evangeline, who didn't bother to notice such details.
"And she has such beautiful eyes, too, " Konoka added, softly, her own eyes far away.
"Huh, " said Evangeline, who did notice certain details that were right in front of her ... and smiled. "Sure. I can easily teach you those sorts of spells. You'll certainly be able to touch her with just a little bit of training ..."
"I have good news, dear, " Konoemon said to the grave when he paid his annual visit. "Your sister and our granddaughter have become very good friends." He had decided not to trouble his late wife's spirit with the nature of that friendship, just as his son-in-law did not trouble his wife with what he knew about it. They were a family who knew when to keep their mouths shut ...
#14: Sayo/Haruna by Japanese Teeth
"Hey, Sayo, you can phase in and out of physical objects, right?"
"Eeeeexcellent..." Haruna said, her mouth twisted into a grotesquely perverted, yet alluring grin. "I just had an amazing idea."
A few hours later, Haruna sat naked on her bed, puffing on a bubble pipe. On the other side of the room, Sayo was floating low in the corner, curled up as close to the fetal position as she could manage without legs.
"Come on, Sayo." Haruna said between bubbles, "You did a most excellent job."
"I can't believe I did that too you..." The ghost murmured, "I don't even have a body to get dirt on, but I still feel so dirty..."
"Everybody feels like that after their first...experimentation. You'll get used to that after we do it a few more times." Haruna answered. "Trust me."
"I guess it was kinda fun..."
"See? You want to try it again? It'll be a lot more fun for both of us once you know what you're doing."
The ghost raised her head and smiled slightly.
"Sure, why not?
#15: Sayo/Setsuna (plus Konoka, who is a package deal) by Shadow Crystal Mage
"BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Foolish swordswoman, you cannot stand up to the combined might of the demon twins!"
"Ugh! I'll never surrender, you evil, evil temptresses! Do your worse!"
"Tee hee! Well, if you insist…"
The door to the classroom opened, and Kazumi walked. "Hey Sayo, Setsuna, Konoka, just picking up some papers, don't let me stop your weird sex-play "
Setsuna looked up from where she lay bound and naked on the ground, mortified and tied by a silk rope. Above her, Sayo floated wearing a pair of fake horns and wings, while Konoka held a paddle, black lingerie, red body paint, and a pointy tail.
Kazumi took some papers from her desk, nodded at them, and shut the classroom door behind her.
Setsuna stared after her. "What the—? Why didn't she react?"
Sayo blushed. "Well, this isn't the first time this has happened…"
#16: Sayo/Makie by No Limit
"You're simply amazing, Makie!" Sayo exclaimed. "I never imagined a human body could pull off such incredible feats."
The bubbly, pink-haired lass giggled, adjusting her leg behind her head so that her buttocks wouldn't get in the way of her breathing space. "Oh, don't be silly. Plenty of the other girls are just as flexible as I am, if not more so."
Sayo's eyes widened in disbelief. "Really? How do you know that?"
"I trained with them. A bunch of the girls would often come up to me, asking if I could give a hands-on tutoring session of how to do gymnastics. They really get into it! Despite the soft groans and cries they would often make, they really enjoy training with me as I gently guide them. Though…" Makie blushed lightly. "We do sometimes accidentally grope or come in contact with our private parts. The others don't seem to mind."
Sayo nodded slowly, an idea growing in her mind as well as a blush. "I – I see…um, I don't suppose you could do that with me, could you…?"
Several hours later…
"I'M SO SORRY!" Sayo wept. "I didn't realize there was a limit to your flexibility!"
The now ghostly Makie prodded her formerly alive body, which had its head turned in a position that was never meant to have turned. "It's all right, Sayo. I died perfectly content at least, " she said with a smile.
Sayo sniffed, still shedding tears. "But you still had so much time left…"
"Nah, it's fine. It's not like I have any onscreen family to worry about. Besides." She took Sayo's hands and wiped away the other spirit's tears away. "As long as I get to share the rest of eternity with someone I care about, I'm happy."
Sayo gave a tiny smile. "Then I'll be happy as well."
And the two were, for the rest of their time.
#17: Sayo/Sakurako by OverMaster
"Out of all of people, only you would be lucky enough to stumble upon Egon Spengler's equipment, Jack Fenton's research and Mikami Reiko's phone number, all at the same time, Sakurako, " Madoka mused.
Sakurako nodded happily while cuddling to her new girlfriend. Sayo giggled and cuddled back. "Yes! That lucky!" the other cheerleader agreed.
#18: Sayo/Mana by Shadow Crystal Mage
"BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! I have you now, foul spirit! No longer shall you desecrate this class with your presence! With these Ofuda, I banish you!"
"No! Please! Have mercy! I don't want to move on! Can't I just be left alone?"
"Too late! Any last words?"
"Ah! To think I would have to go through this on top of dying a virgin!"
"Ah… well, I don't want to be cruel. It is a priestess' job to bring relief to spirits. Come here…"
"Oh! Oh! OH!-!-!"
The door to the classroom opened, and Kazumi walked. "Hey Sayo, you wanna go to the—" She stopped dead.
Mana looked up from where she lay bound and naked on the ground, wearing one of those ghost-cap things. Above her, Sayo floated, also naked, some playing cards in her hand.
"I'll come back later, " Kazumi said.
#19: Sayo/Chao by Shadow Crystal Mage
"Are you sure this will work?" the ghost said nervously.
Her prepubescent partner in crime grinned, the gap from the loss of her latest baby tooth making a gaping hole in her smile. "Positive! Think of it as reincarnation, Sayo-chan!"
Sayo frowned. "But… will I remember anything?"
Chao Lingshen paused thoughtfully. "Not right away. It'll be a long time before you're settled enough in your body to recall your old memories. But it will always be you, at heart."
"Well… okay, " Sayo said. Closing her eyes, she entered microchip.
All was blackness…
Chao took the chip and stepped back in time…
Hakase frowned as she looked over Chachamaru's bisected form, who she was getting ready to transfer to one of the older bodies. "What's this?" she said, poking at a chip she didn't remember installing. It was unhelpfully labeled 'soul'.
"Chao put it there, " Chachamaru said. "Something about reincarnation…"
"They will come back, come back again, as Long as the red earth rolls.
He never wasted a tree or a leaf, why should He squander souls?"
- The Sack of Valhalla, by Rudyard Kipling
#20: Sayo/Kaede by Japanese Teeth
"Are you sure that this is going to work? I think she'll be able to see me..."
"She'll only be able to see you if her demon eye is active. She doesn't activate it when she doesn't have a reason to. She'll be asleep now anyway."
"Okay!" Sayo raised her incorporeal fists in determination. "Here I go!"
There was a quiet whoosh as she vanished into the wall of the Tatsumiya Shrine. Kaede took a step back and vanished into a nearby bush as she waited for her partner to return. Normally she would have stayed away, but Mana would likely be suspicious of her anyway. After ten minutes or so, Sayo emerged from the wall, visibly fighting off laughter.
"I hide of all of clothes except for her fanciest set of underwear." Sayo said between giggles. "I just wish I could see her face when she wakes up. I can't believe I'd never thought of doing this before!"
"April Fools Day is more fun when you prank your friends." Kaede answered, "Who do you want to go after next? We still have 23 hours before the day is officially over?"
"How about Haruna?"
"A superb choice." Kaede said with a nod. "Let's get going."
Several hours later, Kaede once again sat in the bush near the shrine. Asakura had ever-so-kindly allowed the ninja to borrow her artifact so that Sayo would be able to relay Mana's reaction to the mysterious disappearance of her clothes. The only condition was that Asakura receive a copy of the video.
The ninja chuckled quietly to herself as the small screen began to flicker into clarity, resolving into brilliant high definition. Even with her ki-boosted senses, she could barely make out the tendril of ectoplasm that linked the monitor to Sayo's surveillance. She never would have guessed that the quality of transmission would put even the most exorbitantly priced HDMI cable to shame.
It looked like they were just in time. Mana had just climbed out of bed, and was going for her drawers. Kaede smiled. The change in Mana's face as the realization struck was subtle, but there was a distinct twitch beneath one of her eyes. It was the same twitch that she got whenever she realized that she had gone over her budget.
She opened the next drawer. The twitch became more and more pronounced. Another drawer. Her expression was starting to change. By the time she was through with the dresser, she was visibly forcing herself to breathe evenly. The mercenary spun around and lifted the sheet at the edge of the bed, and drew a box out from underneath it. She gave a displeased grunt. Kaede's smile widened. Sayo had remembered to get Mana's emergency combat suit.
Mana angrily shoved the box back under the bed and headed to the closet. This was going to be good. Sayo had left precisely one article of clothing in the room, and Mana was about to see what it was. Kaede could hardly suppress her laughter. The anticipation of Mana realizing that her only article of clothing was some sort of elaborate lingerie was almost unbearable.
The closet door slid open with a squeak. Rather than anger, a look of confusion crossed Mana's face. Her eyes narrowed as she reached into the closet. She withdrew her hand slowly. Dangling from her fingertips was a clothes hanger. Dangling from the clothes hanger was the most frilly, poofy, and ostentatious petticoat ever sewn by human hands.
Kaede chuckled to herself, half at Mana's reaction, and half at the fact that Sayo was so woefully out of date when it came to fashion. Mana tossed the petticoat onto the bed and folded her arms, glowering angrily. Through gritted teeth, she growled two syllables.
The ninja tucked the screen into her pack and bounded off. No point in hanging around the scene of the crime. She turned back to see Sayo floating along beside her, laughing as she went.
#21: Sayo/Chizuru by Japanese Teeth
"I'm sorry, I can't do this any more!" Chizuru put her head in her hands. "I have needs, Sayo! It just isn't working out."
"I can't believe you're doing this!" Sayo said, with tears in her eyes. "I mean, I knew you had that fetish, and you knew that I couldn't possibly do it! You knew it from the beginning, how I can you hold it against me now? It's not even a fetish, it's some sort of addiction!"
"Don't you think I know that by now!" Chizuru answered. "I thought I could do it, but I can't. Maybe this whole thing was just a big mistake. I should have known it wouldn't work."
"It's not my fault I don't have any physical body for you stick that stupid leek of yours into!" Sayo said, her voice cracking, "If that vegetable is so important to you, then I suppose you're right. This is never going to work. I'm sorry for wasting your time." She spun around and floated towards the wall.
"Sayo, wait! I-"
It was too late. The ghost had vanished into the ether. Chizuru sighed as she looked at the counter, where one of her leek was lying. She snatched up, snapped it in half and threw it as hard as she could into the garbage.
#22 & #23: Sayo/Fuka/Fumika by Nightmare Syndrom
"I don't think this a good idea." Fumika muttered as she and her sister wandered the dark halls of the school. Her sister was carrying a huge sack of seemingly random stuff.
"Chill out. Once we stay the night in the classroom no one will ever call us childish again!" Fuka said as they entered said classroom.
"But what about the ghost?" Fumika asked.
"That just proves how brave we are!" Fuka answered as she started to unload her sack. "Besides staying here over night gives us the chance to set up as many pranks as as we want."
"If you say so." Fumika replied as she looked around the room.
"Hmm, so many choices so little time. Tacks on Misora's seat. Snail slime on Chisame's desk. Maybe see how Negi-sensei likes a mouthful of my cherry pie?"
"Your cherry pies are delicious." Fumika quipped.
"And that is why the Home Ec. teacher shall be spared." Fka answered as she went to work.
Walking around the room, Fumika came to a stop in front of one of the windows. The reflective surface showing her sister hard at work. The more docile twin let out an eep when the image of a white haired girl in a white sailor uniform briefly appeared hovering over Fuka.
"What's the matter? Is someone coming?" Fuka asked as she rushed over to her sister.
"I saw the ghost!" Fumika shouted before remembering where they were and quickly covered her mouth.
"D-Don't be silly. Now come on and help me with the..." Fuka trailed off as her supplies were being set up on their own.
"Is the ghost setting up our pranks?"
"Yes. Yes it is."
"Best. Ghost. Ever."
Sayo let out a smile at the girl's banter. Sure she normally wouldn't do something like a prank. But after seeing so many pranks over the years she wanted to try it at least once. Besides it was the least she could do since they took the time to visit at such a late hour.
#24: Sayo/Hakase by Shadow Crystal Mage
Chachamaru blinked as she heard the moaning coming from the lab. "Mother? Satsuki-san sent me to make sure you ate. How are the tests on my upgrade coming along?"
She entered the lab as Hakase let out a panicked, "N-no, stop Sayo-chan! Ch-Chachamaru! D-don't come in—!"
Chachamaru opened the door, stared for a moment, and slammed the door hard enough to crack the frame, turning around and running out of the building.
As the sound of Chachamaru running through walls to get out as fast as possible faded away, Hakase let out a regretful sigh. "Oh, this might be bad…"
Behind her, Sayo— in Chachamaru's latest upgrade— slowed her repetitive pistoning. "Um, should we stop?"
Hakase let out a sigh crossed with a moan. "No, keep at it. At this point, it's best if we continue with testing the prototype…"
She broke off while Sayo caressed her face as the ghost took her from behind with Chachamaru's body…
Chisame gave Chachamaru a flat stare. "Chachamaru… why are you asking me to flush out your memory of the last two hours? And why do you have pencils stabbed into your eyes?"
"Chisame, shut up and bleach my memory banks clean, " Chachamaru snapped uncharacteristically. "Otherwise I will never expunge this from my mind. I am too young for therapy about seeing my mother possibly enacting incest fantasies about me…"
#25: Sayo/Chisame by Darkenning
"I wish you wouldn't be so unhappy when I'm around, " Sayo said somberly.
Chisame bit back her first response, which would have been mean, and also her second. Which was also mean. Letting out a long sigh, she finally said, "I wish that too. But wishes don't come true."
"That's true, " Sayo agreed.
However, Chisame wasn't really listening. "Hell, why stop there. I wish that I could help you somehow. Maybe we could resolve whatever unfinished business is keeping you hanging around."
"That would be nice, " Sayo agreed.
"No it wouldn't! You'd disappear if that happened! Stop agreeing with me! Agh!"
Watching the glassed girl start pulling at her hair, Sayo felt a tiny bit of unworthy laughter bubbling up from ... well, she didn't have anywhere for it to really bubble up from, but she felt it anyway. "Actually, I think I know what my unfinished business is, " she said after she mastered the urge.
"I was never loved."
"How cliched!" Chisame groaned.
"So I'd have to find someone who would love me. Really, really love me." And then the ghost frowned. "But ... you know, that would be really bad. I mean, I find someone really, really loves me, and that finishes off my unfinished business, so then I'm done ... and they're all alone."
Chisame said nothing.
"So then maybe, maybe it'd be for the best if I found someone who'll never tell me how much they loved me. Because they're the sort of person who's not all that honest with themselves."
And then the ghost smiled, sweetly.
"People like that suck, " Chisame said angrily as she turned away.
"Oh, don't say that, " Sayo murmured gently.
#26: Sayo/Eva by Shadow Crystal Mage
"BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! I have you now, evil undead! No longer shall you desecrate this class with your presence! With this stake, I slay you!"
"No! Please! Have mercy! I don't want to die again! Can't I just be left alone?"
"Too late! Any last words?"
"Ah! To think I would have to go through this on top of dying a virgin!"
"Heh he heh… prepare yourself, dark spawn, as I plunge this long, hard wood into your dark places!"
"Oh! Oh! OH!-!-!"
The door to the classroom opened, and Kazumi walked. "Hey Sayo, this time can you go with me to the—" She stopped dead.
Eva looked up from where she lay bound and naked on the ground, her body covered in glitter. Above her, Sayo floated, also naked, a dildo in her hands.
"Didn't we do this already?" Kazumi said.
#27: Sayo/Nodoka/Yue (who are a package deal) by Shadow Crystal Mage
Yue looked sideways at Nodoka, who was blushing and slightly sweaty as she peered intently at her notebook, occasionally writing in it with a very shaky, sweaty hand. "Nodoka-chan? Are you all right?"
"Y-yes, " Nodoka stammered, squirming in her seat as she wrote. "It's just… h-hot in here, that's all."
Yue gave her a flat look, her mouth curved and emoticon-ish. "Really? Because that doesn't look like your 'the room is hot' sweaty."
"N-no?" Nodoka squeaked.
"No, that's your 'reading the Marquis de Sade, Lolita, Decadents Habits and Haruna's doujins' sweatiness. What 'artistic' book are you reading and why haven't you told me about them?" Yue pressed.
"Yue-chan, it's n-not like that, " Nodoka protested, squirming.
"Oh, please Nodoka, I of all people know what someone looks like when their panties are moist, " Yue said, darting behind Nodoka and locking the book open to read it over the other girl's shoulder. "What's…?"
Yue fell silent as she read. Her eyes went wide, her face turned crimson, and steam blew from her ears.
"Nodoka, this is your Artifact, " Yue panted. "So, all this dirty, dirty… someone is thinking this! NOW!"
"Eep, " Nodoka said, struggling to close it.
Yue managed to flip it to the first page. "Wait… SAYO?-! You're reading Sayo's mind?"
"Yes, " Sayo's slightly annoyed voice said from over her shoulder. "And we were enjoying ourselves."
Yue jumped as the ghost made herself visible, dripping ectoplasm and quite naked. "Gah! Wait, you were in the ROOM?-!"
"Well, sometimes we do it in class, " Sayo said.
Yue stared at the two of them. Then she took Nodoka's pencil and quickly wrote something on the Artifact. Sayo and Nodoka read it, and went even redder.
"Oh my, " Sayo panted. More text appeared as it read her mind.
"Well, Haruna sometimes needs help with her plots…" Yue muttered, feeling the familiar sensation of slightly moist panties.
Nodoka took the pencil and wrote some more on the Artifact. Sayo and Yue read and gulped, and Yue took the pencil…
#28: Sayo/Natsumi by Darkenning
To her, the world resembled one of those old black and white movies she'd seen on television sometimes. Except for them, nothing had any color. Nor was there any sound. That was even more alienating than the utterly contrasted sight before her.
It was a nice ceremony, she thought, and almost twitched a smile at the thought as she somberly watched all of their friends paying their respects.
"It'd be nice if they could see me, " she told her. "Why is it that they can see you and not me?" The question wasn't plaintive, just bemused.
Sayo shook her head. "I don't know, " she said, in a way that only Natsumi could hear.
That really only stood to reason. After all, being a ghost didn't grant you any special insight into the way of the afterlife. Natsumi had certainly discovered that after ... whatever it was that had happened. Her memories of before were still fairly sharp, but the eventand its immediate aftermath were blank holes.
Finally, the ceremony was over, and the celebrants gradually went away, in small groups or, in one or two sad cases, alone. And finally, only two were left.
"Oh, that's so sad, " Natsumi said distantly as she saw one of them fall before the memorial and begin weeping and screaming and howling, all in silence, uncomforted even by the taller person who crouched beside him and tried to hold him back from hurting himself, even as she wept genuine tears.
"Yes, " Sayo agreed.
"They'll be good for each other, though, " Natsumi continued, still with that air of unconcern. "I'm sure they'll be happier together than he would have been with me. And maybe I should just try to forget him completely."
Sayo ... didn't agree with that. It was obvious from the look of discomfort on her face. But she didn't say a word of disagreement. That was good. Natsumi couldn't have handled an argument right then, not from her only companion in all this bleached world.
"You'll stay with me, right?" Natsumi found herself saying, and now there was genuine emotion in her voice. Fear, when there was nothing left to fear. Who would have imagined it?"
"Yes, " said Sayo, reassuringly. "As long as you want me around, I will stay with you."
"Thank you, " said Natsumi, and put her hand in hers as they walked away.
#29: Sayo/Ayaka by Iniquitus
Negi came home from the teachers' meeting to hear the sound of furniture being tortured. Mostly one piece, though he heard the occasional thump of a stamping foot. Worrying, he gripped his wand and hurried, opening the door and seeing Konoka calmly sitting down while Asuna stalked back and forth, ranting incomprehensibly and gesturing wildly.
"Ah... Konoka-san? What is the matter?"
"I'm not quite sure, Negi-kun, " she said back politely, offering a cup of tea. Negi took it gratefully and blew across the surface to cool it minutely. "I think her and Ayaka had a really big fight today."
Negi cast back his mind, trying to remember if his friends had acted any more antagonistic (university-level English, remember) than usual today. "Hmmmm... Chamo-kun, any idea what could have set them off?", he asked of his familiar, who'd elected to stay back home today.
The ermine twitched at hearing his name called, snapping out of his reverie. "Eh?"
"Are you all right, Chamo-kun?", Negi asked, frowning in concern.
Chamo blinked, memories flashing through his mind.
"H-hey! What do you think you're doing with my body, Iinchou?"
"Please, Asuna-san, it's just this once. I really wanted to speak with and... interact with Sayo-san, and she says that if you agree to just go to sleep for half an hour and offer your body up, she can possess you."
"Ohhhhh no, Iinchou! You said I had to get naked to prepare myself, a-a-and th-the only way I-I'm getting n-naked in f-front of y-y-you is i-i-if you do it too..."
Ayaka shook her head, going red. "Wha-! How dare you ask that of a proper young lady as myself, disrobing for an occult ritual?"
"F-Fine, then! The deal's off, b-baka Iinchou!"
"No, Asuna-san, wait—" Too late, Ayaka raised her hand as Asuna stormed out of the door. Sayo floated into the classroom, looking worried and adorable. The class rep sighed. "I'm sorry, Sayo-chan, but she didn't agree to it."
"I-I heard. Um. Wh-why didn't you tell her that you were going to be naked as well shortly after I possessed her?"
"W-well, she didnt need to know that was going to happen..."
Chamo shook his head slowly, mentally deciding not to poke around in Negi's bag for treats if he left it in the classroom on accident ever again. "Sorry, bro, can't help you there..."
#30: Sayo/Satsuki by Iniquitus
Satsuki breathed in, savouring the aroma of food cooking on the grill. Chao Bao Zi didn't actually have many customers once the post-school feeding frenzy died down and today had been a slow day all round in any case. A strange balance of sadness and peace was within her; her relief at getting some time to herself fighting a sedate battle with her wish to see people eating good food and enjoying it.
The girl gave a balanced sigh. Though she might not have any more customers until the end of the day, it just wasn't in her to close up early, and until then, she might as well keep the meat buns warm.
The first indication Satsuki got that this day would be slightly stranger than the others was when she saw, out of the corner of her eye, a single meat bun sliding slo-o-owly towards the edge of the plate.
She raised one eyebrow, before deftly reaching out with the grill fork and pushing the bun back into place. All cooks were a little bit obsessive-compulsive with their items ordered on the stove.
The sun had gone a little bit lower and Satsuki was just reaching out to apply the sunscreen onto her arms when she saw the same meat bun sliding in the direction of the side of the plate with all the speed of continental drift. A strange half-whimpering sound sounded out everytime the bun moved, though maybe it was just the oil hissing.
Again, she reached out and rearranged the bun before it drifted — floated? — onto the floor. Grease patches were practically a cardinal sin in tram-shops like Chao Bao Zi. This time, however, Satsuki carefully kept an eye on the errant packet of grease and taste. If nothing else, it was something to pass the time with.
Ha!, Satsuki said internally and whacked her grill fork down onto said bun as it tried to move once again.
Or rather, brought it whistling down to whack noisily onto an invisible layer of something that lay just above the bun. Satsuki raised an eyebrow. Unless she was going mad, she could have sworn that there'd just been a yelping sound.
Ah-ha. If the impossible was eliminated, that left only the solution, in this case, magic. Satsuki mentally ran through a checklist of what she knew to be possible. Strange. There were more useful ways of pranking people with an invisibility spell.
She closed her eyes briefly and breathed in once. All there was to see would be seen. Those that wished to be seen would be.
When she opened her eyes again, Satsuki saw a white-haired girl who seemed to be missing everything below the edge of her olden-style skirt hovering near the edge of the grill plate, holding her right hand in her left and looking more than a bit ashamed.
Ghost? That meant that the whole deal with Hakase's ghostbuster rifles before the festival hadn't been a complete misfire. The girl broke off her staring at the floor to briefly flit her eyes up to meet Satsuki's, looking sharply back down again when she noticed the chef's gaze on her.
Experimentally, Satuki reached out behind her to a paper bag, and used a pair of tongs to maneuver the previously-mobile bun into the bag, with just the tip poking out. She held it out to the ghost girl, who hesitantly put her hands out to take it—
The bun, covered in greaseproof paper, hit the ground and the tentative expression of the girl fell, but Satsuki wasn't looking there. The weight had noticeably slowed as it passed through the half-opaque hands. Maybe she'd just been trying to affect the world again?
Sayo looked up, ashamed that she'd dropped the gift on the ground. And she'd almost lifted the hot bun all by herself before—!
Satsuki looked back for a moment, before she smiled warmly and reached over to flip the little card from 'Open' to 'Closed', bending down to pick the packed-up bun up and offer it to her again.
They had time to practise, after all. Some things were worth wasting an afternoon on.
#31: Sayo/Zazie by T-bone 61
The end of summer: a time of change and new beginnings. Sunshine soon to lose its power bakes the streets with its last hurrah. Fall is coming at last. Time turns as it will, memories grow and wither, and we all must stay strong, look forward to the future, or risk being crushed between hour and minute.
Still, the world is not always so simple. For all the ways life may reinvent itself, so much can remain the same. Benchmarks and pleasant rituals are two such things, and Aisaka Sayo, in her refuge under the convenience store awning, knows it very well. Over the past months, she has done more with her life - yes, she can call it her life now! - than she ever had during years long gone. She has friends now - real friends! - and would gladly give her world to help save them...or save a world with them. Or both, as the case had been. Her horizons are broadening in ways she'd never imagined.
This place draws her back anyway.
From her seat on an old wooden bench, Sayo kicks her legs up and down to pass the time. The novelty of having a working lower half hasn't yet worn off; she hopes it never does. She still trips every once in a while, but she's gotten so much better at walking and running, really she has, that most of the time it feels like she's gliding on air, and not in the ghostly way. Paru-chan's work is the best.
Speaking of gliding (and also of flipping, jumping and other tomfoolery), Sayo has a big appointment today, something she's been anticipating for a while now. In fact, she's been anticipating it to some degree since the very moment she first saw the Poster. Back then she'd frozen up in amazement at the acts the large broadside depicted: the tightwire, the trapeze, cannonfire and capers! It was enough to make your mouth water with excitement. Even more amazing was the fact that apparently, she'd been sitting next to a star for weeks now...
And there she is at last. Zazie Rainyday approaches casually, clad in sneakers, workout pants, and a black t-shirt with an elaborate "Nightmare Circus" print. True to form, the dark-skinned girl doesn't seem to feel the summer heat at all, and Sayo is a little jealous despite herself; Paru-chan's work may be the best, but even the best can get uncomfortably sweaty sometimes.
Zazie stops at the curb and looks slowly around, not seeming to register her classmate, then sits down on the sidewalk, sliding a gym bag off her shoulder. Sayo feels a tiny thrill of shock - how hasn't Zazie-san seen her? Surely her artificial body hasn't run out of power yet? No, no, she can still see her legs and everything, and she was visible to her even in spirit form, so why-?
Sayo gets up and trots haltingly over to her classmate, unable to trust her voice. As she reaches a hand out to touch Zazie's shoulder...
She'd made the greeting instantly, not turning her head in the slightest. Without having to look, Sayo gets the impression that the tattooed girl is smiling at her surprise.
"Z-Zazie-san! You knew I was there all along, didn't you!" Sayo yelps, flailing her arms for emphasis.
"Geez..." Sayo pouts a little, unable to feel truly put out. "You're always playing pranks on me lately, Zazie-san." It's true; ever since Magicus Mundus and all its revelations, Zazie's personality has pulled a jarring U-turn (she would call it a trolling U-turn, but she hasn't been around Chisame that much yet). Often, the most talking their store-side hanging-outs had ever included came in the form of admonitions to those creepy masked things following in Zazie's wake. Seeing the girl become so animated, as if overnight, has confused Sayo's feelings a little - it's much easier to relate to her tentative friend now, but the earlier silences had been...nice, in their own way.
Because Zazie-san had reached out to her soundlessly. Accepted her soundlessly.
"This is a good day to be outside, is it not?" The girl's voice shakes Sayo out of her reverie. "Summer is a good season; I have seen precious little of it in my homeland."
"Oh...really? What kind of weather does the, um, demonfolk world have?"
Another smile, lightly teasing. "Weather that is not summer weather, of course."
"Shall we go, then?"
With time, the two make their way out of the hustle and bustle of the shopping district. As is becoming the norm for their meetings, Sayo gradually loosens up, asking cheerful questions and babbling about her day as Zazie provides deliberate half-answers and smiling anecdotes. The ghost girl almost doesn't realize how far they've walked until they're already at the promised spot.
Wide and open, a soft, verdant piece of field lies in the middle of one of Mahora's many campus parks. There's just enough of a breeze to set the trees a-shiver, and the smell of flowers clings gently to it. It's the kind of atmosphere that sweet dreams and calm realities are made of, and for the next thirty minutes, Sayo loses herself in this atmosphere, hard at work.
She thinks her fascination started the moment she first hitched a ride on one of Kazumi-chan's spy drones. Sayo hadn't given much thought to flying before, either as a ghost or as a flesh and blood human, but now she feels like kicking herself for not trying earlier.
As a rule, the members of the Nightmare Circus fly like few other people do. However, before a girl can learn to fly, she must learn to tumble, and that is exactly what Sayo does.
"Hawawawaaa..." She flops dizzied onto her back, her eyes swirling comically, but before long, she giggles. "You know, Zazie-san, I used to think falling forward all the time was a horrible thing, but now I'm not so sure."
Zazie nods sagely, still holding her smile. "Falling is only dangerous if you cannot control it. It should always be done with style, as they say."
"So...do you think I'm ready to try cartwheels yet?"
"With assistance, yes."
Sayo's golem body is nothing special, being created with the physical ability of the average middle-school girl, but Zazie is lithe and powerful, easily guiding her charge hand by hand and leg by leg through each flip. Sayo spends an hour at it, though others learning the same thing might have given up after the first few failures (and Sayo being Sayo, she experienced quite a number of them); she likes to think Negi-sensei has rubbed off on her, for the better.
She learns more than just how to to cartwheel, though. It's mostly little things: her stomach is ticklish, and Zazie isn't above poking fun at it (or into it, if she's messing up her form); her friend's tattoos are real, and apparently have some kind of societal value; spring is the season they both like even more than summer.
At last, she succeeds on her own, popping to her feet flushed and laughing. A second later, she overbalances and lands hard on her rear, but even that doesn't faze her - not after the fun she's just had.
"We may want to be cautious in graduating you to front flips, but well done." Zazie looks both satisfied and amused that someone Sayo's age can find joy in a simple gymnastics trick. "I believe you have earned a good lunch, if you would like that. It will be my treat...eh?"
Sayo doesn't seem to hear her, and is in fact too busy rushing up to wrap her in a surprisingly strong hug. "Zazie-chan, thankyouthankyouthankyou, that was so cool! You're the best tea-...u-um, I mean, the second-best teacher ever! T-that is...I mean, next to Negi-sensei, no offense!"
Wait. Had Sayo-san just called her...
Culturally, demonfolk aren't very huggy people. Zazie does her best despite that. "I could think of few compliments better than that one. You are very welcome, and I thank you as well."
Sayo is beaming as they separate. "Can we keep practicing like this, Zazie-chan? On other days, I mean? Please?"
"I understand. You want to show off to Negi-sensei someday, don't you?" Zazie's smile deepens, becomes just a little slyer. "I will have to think about it."
"Wha-wha-what gave you that idea, Zazie-chan?-! I um, that is...hawawawa..." The ghost girl starts flailing her arms again, and Zazie decides she should make comments like that more often—
With a bang, Sayo's right arm shoots off at the shoulder mid-swing, rocketing into the next field over. Chaos promptly ensues.
"Uuuooooh! What the hell?-!"
"Duck! Get down!"
"My pompadour! It took off all of my pompadour!-!"
For a long moment, there is only her dropped jaw and Zazie's now-deadpan stare. In the future, Sayo will look back on this day as the first time she ever considered possessing Haruna and making her do something stupid. Whose work is the best? Not Paru's, that's whose.
"...Zazie-chan, we should leave."
She is running now, taken by the hand. Between the pounding of her feet and the whirl of her thoughts, Sayo finds something to marvel at: she suddenly knows that she cannot bear to keep moments like this one out of her daily routine. Had so little time really passed since those quiet, yet oddly comforting meetings on the storeside curb? And was there really a problem with that? No. Change, yet stay the same. Balance sound and soundlessness. That's the way, she thinks. The best way.
A glance towards Zazie reveals she's smiling again. Sayo can only wonder where and what it is they're flying to (or perhaps stylishly falling to) together, and she'd love to find out.
Sayo/Gateau by OverMaster
"... Master?" Takahata stared on blankly, as the cigarette fell off his mouth.
The tall, graying ghost rasped uneasily, as Sayo yelped and hid behind him, covering her bare crotch and chest with her arms. "Oh. Hello again, Takamichi-kun. There's... really nothing wrong with this. She is, after all, older than me..."
Sayo suddenly made an offended face. Somehow, he noticed it despite being with his back turned on her. "I mean, I'm younger than her! No, that doesn't help either, does it? Don't be so harsh on us, Takamichi-kun. It's difficult being the only two dead characters in this story..."
The teacher nodded jerkily before turning back and lighting another cigarette with just very slightly shaking hands. "Mental note to myself, staying further apart from Asuna from now on..."
Gateau frowned. "What's so wrong with 'Like master, like disciple'?"
Sayo/Kazumi/Yue/Mana by Shadow Crystal Mage
"BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! I have you now, Miss Lane! No longer shall you foil my plans with your presence! With this Kryptonite dagger, I shall kill you!"
"Hah! Do you worst, Luthor! I'm not scared of you!"
"We shall see! Any last words?"
"Heh he heh… maybe later. Prepare yourself, you nosy reporter, as I use this…"
"Not so fast, Luthor!"
The door to the classroom opened, and Mana walked in. "Hey Sayo, do you know where—" She stopped dead.
Kazumi looked up from where she lay bound and naked on the ground, wearing a fedora with a press pass. Above her, Yue knelt, also naked, a dildo in her hands, her hair under a bald cap. Sayo, just as naked, had a red towel tied around her neck.
Mana took all this in impassively, then started stripping. "Ah, there you are. Any room for Wonder Woman?"
Sayo/Eva (alternative version) by Iniquitus
Evangeline was snoozing on the roof when it hit her.
The short blonde vampiress (or was it vampire? Eva had never bothered herself with semantics beyond the ones needed to annoy the hell out of hero-wannabes by interrupting them as they made their declarations of her death) had decided that, all things considered, she could smash the white-haired brat who'd taken over from the Boya into the pavement without too much permanent damage and thus she could take a day off learning whenever she damn well wanted.
Fundamentally, it was based entirely on the inaccuracies of the English language. However, drinking blood was more about exerting dominance and draining vitality for her. 'Ectoplasm'. Really. And besides, if this went wrong, it wasn't like the ghost had ever done much anyway.
Her mouth curved into a smirk, and a dramatically-minded person would have wanted to imagine the sunlight glinting off her teeth.
She hadn't been out at night in ages. This was going to be fun.
Sayo Aisaka sat in her seat in 3-A's classroom and settled in for the long time between sundown and sunrise. It got scary all alone in the classroom, but her friends had given her the courage to stick it out. She was only sad that Zazie-san's friends hadn't been able to come around recently.
The white-haired ghost girl folded her arms on the desk and breathed in and out, looking forward to the day ahead. One way or the other, she was going to have fun tomorrow, even if Negi-sensei was off on his super-important mission. Yep, not even the darkness could scare her n—
Lightning out of blue-black skies flashed and thunder struck, booming. Silhouetted in the window was a waiflike figure, tattered cloak shifting as though drops of blood were being blasted off by the gale that had whipped up out of nowhere. The blackest depths of hell screamed sounds of warning just out of reach of mortal ears, a cacophonic dissonance to mirror the flashing weapons of the sky and—
Eva blinked. Where'd the ghost-girl disappeared to?
She made an annoyed noise, put out at the waste her carefully choreographed dramatic villain entrance had gone to, and deftly pushed the window open. Hopping inside, the vampire(ss) cast her eyes about, finding the faint glow which marked Sayo out.
The ghost girl was huddling under her desk, rocking back and forth in the fetal position (a fact which Eva found surprising, considering she lacked legs utterly) and whimpering almost as adorably as Chachamaru did when finding a baby kitten.
"Hey, " Eva said nonchalantly to her.
"AAAAAAAAAAAH!", Sayo screamed, frightened out of her mind and rolling back against the wall, her desk spiralling into the lower atmosphere.
Eva blinked again. Oh dear, she really was adorably easy to terrify.
She sighed and stood, advancing as unthreateningly on Sayo as possible and utterly failing at it. She crouched down again as the ghost put her hands over her face and pretended she was a desk.
"Hey, " Eva said again, reaching out to prod Sayo, who flinched back and scrabbled closer to the wall.
"No, listen, I'm not going to— will you hold still!", Eva said annoyedly, reaching out and putting her hand on Sayo's shoulder.
Slowly, Sayo lowered a pair of trembling hands to turn soft red eyes on the hand at her shoulder. "Y-You.. E-Eva-chan, you can touch me...?"
"Comes with being undead, " Eva said briskly. "Now listen, Aisaka, I—"
"You can touch me, " Sayo repeated, her voice gaining and choking quality and red eyes misting over.
"Yes, we've established that, " Eva returned grumpily. She reached out again and poked Sayo's cheek. "There. Touch touch. Now, if you could just go back to—"
"You can touch me!", Sayo chirped cheerfully and tackled Eva in a hug that seemed to crush her ribcage.
Eva lay back on the floor, feeling far-too-strong arms crush her ribcage. "S-Sayo... stop... can't breathe..."
Sayo's eyes widened and she pulled back, now effectively crouching over the prone vampire(ss) as she massaged her neck and generally tried to recover the upper hand.
"Better, " she rasped. "Now, if I could just—"
A strange kind of soft wetness dripped onto her cheek, and she reflexively wiped it off, before bringing the fingers that had done so to her mouth to taste. Salt...?
Sayo blinked down at Eva, and sat up in shock, broadly straddling her. "O-oh! Sorry, " she said apologetically as she wiped the tears away. "I-I mean, it's just that I can't touch things normally anymore without help, so you just... I-I got a little excited, " Sayo said embarrassedly. "Um. What did you want to talk about, Eva-san?"
Eva opened her mouth to talk, then took in the long white hair and misty red eyes that stared wholeheartedly back at her.
She closed it again with a bit of a grin, then leaned forward and verrrry gently moved her lips to where Sayo's ended and focused until a slight tingle went over them.
"Just..." Her hand went up and cupped Sayo's cheek ever so tenderly, feeling the not-skin heat in the aftermath of the contact. Subdueing this being, taking it's vitality and draining it of all it had left... She couldn't. Couldn't take it if it might be all they had left.
She gently wormed herself out from under the ghost and stood up, Sayo floating upright and 'standing' opposite her, still waiting on her. A single finger flitted up and laid over half-opaque lips.
"I'll be back tomorrow night, " Eva whispered, and whirled once in the black cloak until Sayo blinked and was all alone again.
Sayo/Akashi-sensei by Overmaster
Yuna's shoulders slumped down. "No matter what, I'll never have an actual living mother figure, will I?"
A large drop of sweat appeared on Akira's head. "W-Well, things could be far worse..."
"She's way too old for Dad! And too young, as well!" Yuna sprang back up, lifting a fist up in rage. "She could be his grandmother, and she looks young enough to be his daughter!"
"So, what he needs instead is a woman who looks young enough to be his daughter, but is actually... his daughter?" Chisame snarked.
"Oh, shut up, " Yuna grumbled. "Necrophilia is worse than incest, and you know it!"
"I refuse to aknowledge I'm having this conversation, " Chisame droned.
"I know!" Yuna said. "I'll buy myself an Ouija and summon Mom's spirit so they can settle it ghost to ghost!"
"This will end in disaster, " Yue warned. But Yuna was too busy laughing maniacally to care anymore.
Two days later:
"You were right, " Yuna admitted ruefully. "It ended in the worst possible way."
Yue looked actually worried. "R-Really? How...?"
"Saishodoukin, " Yuna's voice sounded truly, excuse the pun, haunted.
"Ehhhhh...!" Nodoka's mouth hung open.
"I refuse to acknowledge I'm listening to this conversation, " Chisame said, turning her back on everyone and focusing on her laptop.
Sayo/Paio Zi by Shadow Crystal Mage
Sayo blinked down at the horny little loli groping her breasts. "You can… touch me?" she said, more amazed then upset.
The bounty hunter grinned up at her. "Of course! The power of boobs can accomplish miracles!"
Sayo/Mei by Shadow Crystal Mage
Mei stared up at the ceiling as a naked, sated Sayo curled up next to her. "Wow… I thought these things only happened when I visited oneechan and her husband…"
Harem-Owners Anonymous by Iniquitus
Sayo sat down, shivering in her seat and twitching slightly.
Chisame raised an eyebrow at her. "...You okay there, Sayo-chan?"
"I haven't even met half of these people!", Sayo wailed. "A-and now I'm doing..."
Chisame tried to pat her comfortingly on the shoulder, forgot that Sayo was a ghost, fell off her chair and cursed gravity and fanfiction in equal amounts as she got back onto her seat. "You get used to it after a while, trust me. Although Overmaster's at least dropped off in his quest to ship me with everything lately."
Yue blew a strand of hair out of her face. "Oh, he'll come back, " she said morosely. "I'm just waiting for my next 'conquest'. I'm fairly sure he's running out of female characters and then it'll become a crossover and we all know what happens when Mage starts a crossover."
A knock sounded on the door of the dinky bar. "Yue-san? Chisame-san? Can I come in?"
Chisame gulped down her glass of juice and pushed it towards the bartender. "For the last time, Negi-sensei, only fanon harem owners are allowed in here. You actually have one instead of just it being fanfiction."
Negi fell silent for a moment. "Is Fate-san in there?", he asked hopefully.
The inmates of the bar turned to look at the young, white-haired boy crouching in the corner. He lifted one hand and drew it across his throat in a gesture that managed to communicate quite a lot for being performed while shivering with terror.
"Uh, nope!", Yue called back. "Just us girls in here."
Naruto slammed down his glass and gave her a glare.
Yue lifted her hands. "Hey, in my defense, you spend half your time pretending to be one."
Next: Tales of Yuna (or Yuuna)'s Harem.