A/N #1: I think it's a rule. I start writing fanfiction for a series, and I start generating allegedly humorous omake. Of course, this time I picked a series for which Moczo regularly writes, so I'm held to a higher standard of "humorous."
A/N #2: This story is actually a sort-of sequel to another story of mine, "Not the Welcome She Was Expecting," which I wrote for the 2013 Beast's Lair fanfiction contest. It won, so yay, me? But it's an out-and-out lemon, so I won't be posting it at fanfiction-dot-net. But if you're wondering what you missed out on by not reading that one...um...well, it's set post-HF True End, and now Rin is dating Rider.
~X X X~
"Tohsaka, you're supposed to be some kind of genius, right? The once-in-a-generation talent that the Old Man actually as good as bribed the heads of this place so they'd let you walk away from all charges and study here instead? So why do you have so much trouble understanding a two-letter word like 'no'?"
Deep breaths, Rin, she told herself. Getting angry wasn't going to help anyone. Particularly, it wouldn't help her.
"But you're the only one I can ask," she repeated for the third time, possibly the fourth. "And you're supposed to be my teacher, after all. It's literally part of your job to educate me."
Waver Velvet, Lord El-Melloi II, was not persuaded by what seemed to Rin to be impeccable logic.
"In magecraft, Tohsaka. In case you haven't noticed, the Magus Association does not have a Department of Basic Mobile Phone Usage. And if it did, I wouldn't be in it."
"But who else am I supposed to ask? Most of the people here are no better at this than—"
She'd been going to say "a radish," but she supposed that her professor had a point.
"I'd also like to note that being able to successfully connect a Playstation to a television set does not make me an electronics genius, as much as the people around here seem to think that it does."
"'In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king,'" she quoted. "So even God makes the point."
"That's not from the Bible; it's from Erasmus." Damn Kotomine! Rin thought, wondering how much other Biblical wisdom he'd neglected to properly source over the years. "There. Education. Now go away."
Once again Rin managed to stifle her frustration.
"Look, sir, I know that it's probably very annoying to be bothered to teach what must seem to you like a basic household activity, but this is very important to me. I really do need to learn how to use my phone's video function, in order to keep a promise that I made."
It would be a cold day in Hell before she told Lord El-Melloi II that the promise in question had been made to her girlfriend, her sister's familiar Rider. Or that the subject of the promise was to "send me something to keep me warm at night while you're in London."
"I'm not going to ask what kind of promise takes a video recording," Waver promptly scored a direct hit. Rin winced, trying very hard not to let any sign of embarrassment show. "Besides, you shouldn't be making promises that you know you aren't able to keep."
"But sir, I need—"
"Have you tried reading the owner's manual? Amazing things, those."
"I did try using the online help function, but it...wasn't a success." If you can call accidentally downloading eight thousand yen's worth of apps "not a success."
Rin's back teeth ground together in a purely reflexive response before her conscious mind had even put a name to the one laughing.
"How very much like you, Tohsaka, to be unable to operate such a simple function. But I suppose that's only to be expected from a lower-class magus like yourself. Perhaps pencil and paper would be a communication method more appropriate to your ability."
Rin's tooth-grinding was probably audible by now.
She turned to face the statuesque (the word causing a momentary fantasy of Luvia staring long and deeply at Rider's Mystic Eyes to pop up) blonde in blue who'd come into the office unnoticed.
"And I suppose that you could do better?"
"Of course I could. The use of simple modern technology is the responsibility of any magus who would live in the world. I'd be ashamed to call myself an Edelfelt if I couldn't do such a simple thing." She covered her mouth with the back of her hand and started that damned laugh again.
"That's perfect, then."
"Eh?" Luvia's laugh cut off halfway as both girls spun towards their professor.
"Edelfelt can teach you, Tohsaka."
"Oh, you can't be serious."
"Of course I am. If this is so all-fired important to you, then you ought to be happy to get a solution to your problem."
"But...that...I..." Rin was suddenly afraid that the horror of the concept ask Luvia Edelfelt for help had broken her brain.
Waver's gaze slid over to Luvia.
"As for you, if you have all this superior knowledge to offer, then this should be easy for you. Now. Shoo."
He actually made the little shooing gesture with his hand. Rin and Luvia glanced at one another, then back at their professor.
Waver cleared his throat.
"Well, that was a colossal waste of time," Rin muttered under her breath as she stalked away. Really, what did the professor think they were there for, if he wouldn't take five damn minutes out of his schedule to teach her something?
"And just where do you think you're going?"
She whipped around.
"What the hell are you still doing here?"
"Surely even an uncultured barbarian from the far corners of the globe can figure that out."
"Not really, no. You've already checked 'fuck up Rin Tohsaka's life' off today's to-do list, so I'd have thought you'd be off to teach reindeer to fly or whatever it is you do in your spare time."
"Ohohohoho! No doubt this is the kind of emotional control that got you kicked out of the dorm."
"Well, excuse me for not having seventeen mansions in every world city I can just go to when I screw over someone!"
"Are you claiming I hide behind my family's money?" Luvia shot back.
"If the thousand-euro Parisian designer shoe fits—"
There weren't actual sparks crackling in the air between them. Maybe. Probably. Only little ones, in any case.
Lord El-Melloi II's office door flung open.
"Kill each other somewhere else, you idiots!" roared along the hallway, the sound carried along by a torrential wind that left the two magi with hair tousled into clouds.
Rin and Luvia blinked, then looked at each other, then each cracked up laughing at her rival's appearance.
"Marginally better," Waver groused, and his door slammed shut again.
"And that," Luvia concluded, "is why I'm still here."
"Wait; you're taking him seriously?"
"The Edelfelt family has always been proper magi of the Association. It would be a blot on our honor reaching back generations for me to ignore a task assigned to me by my teacher and mentor."
Stripping the typical babble out of Luvia's dialogue and editing for content, Rin tried to analyze the situation logically.
One: Lord El-Melloi II had told Luvia to teach Rin how to use her cell phone.
Corollary to point one: He'd also told Rin, by implication, to learn from Luvia's teaching.
Two: He'd been tipping over the line from "bored" to "exasperated" even before Luvia had come into the office, suggesting that his reaction to any outcome was likely to be slanted against her.
Three: Thanks to the totally Luvia's fault squabble disturbing him, any slack he'd been inclined to offer was pretty much toast at this point.
Conclusion: Rin's inability to overcome her technology issues had suddenly gone from "amusing, occasionally cute if inconvenient personal quirk" to "official assignment as a student at the Clock Tower."
Corollary to conclusion: There were a lot of cute girls in Fuyuki City and while Rider wasn't the kind of petty mythological monster who'd make a fight out of Rin failing to do something, she was the kind of insightful person who got annoyed when Rin's pride and stubbornness made her do self-destructive things.
Rin let out a heavy sigh.
"Come on; I'll show you what I've been having trouble with."
~X X X~
Rider had just been settling into the meat of a mystery novel when the soft purr of her smartphone caught her attention. Somewhat reluctantly—the book was really good—she got up and crossed over to where she'd left it on the table.
So who's sending me mail at this hour? she wondered. Being a Servant, an incarnated spiritual entity, she didn't need to sleep, which gave her six to ten hours a day more than everyone else around her to catch up on life. Which was good, because Medusa had quite a lot of catching up to do. Still, very few people called her at three-thirty in the morning.
Her eyes lit up behind her glasses when she saw who had sent the new mail message.
From: deredere69 ... (Rider suspected she was going to pay when Rin figured out how to read her own address, but it was totally worth it.)
To: snakylegs ...
Didn't think I could do it, did you? Well, I fully expect your apology when I see you again! Prepare to grovel! Or at least to get on your knees. 3
Grinning, Rider opened the video file attachment. What greeted her eyes wasn't what she had expected. Or then again, maybe it was.
"So that's it, then? I just push this button here?"
"No, that's the stop button. You push that when you're all done. Weren't you paying attention the first three times I said that?"
"Well, excuse me! It was hard enough to learn what these buttons did just to make a phone call. Now you're telling me that they also do completely different things to be a camera!"
"They do the same things. The call button records. The end call button stops. I'd have thought even an ignorant baboon like you could figure that out!" The blonde's eye was starting to twitch.
"Well, excuse me for caring more about magecraft than how to operate some electric toy. Maybe that's why we beat you down seventy years ago, because you were too busy figuring out the zeppelin or something," Rin shot back.
"Zeppelins started in the 1900s. You can't even get your insults right! Do you even have electricity in that backwoods little hovel you grew up in?"
"You think Buckingham Palace is a hovel, so how is that even an insult?"
"Oh, did that hit the guttersnipe where it hurt? Don't fret; we can't all be dignified ladies."
"What's so dignified about pro wrestling, anyway?"
"The magical martial arts of the Edelfelt lineage are not professional wrestling!"
"If the mask fits..."
Rider could actually see the sparks flickering between their eyes as the two young women glared at one another.
The first Gandr shots went flying a moment later. Things got rather chaotic for the next couple of minutes, and the clouds of dust obscured most of the interesting parts until a flailing hand—Rin's, Rider thought—knocked the phone off whatever it was sitting on. Apparently the jolt when it hit the floor was enough to make it stop recording.
It took quite a bit longer for Medusa to stop laughing.
From: snakylegs ...
To: deredere69 ...
Subject: RE: Ha!
I'm impressed! I didn't realize that you had enough confidence in the strength of our relationship that you'd send me a video of you having fun with another girl!