Rating: PG. Little bit of cursing and...you know. Blair being Blair.
Fandom: Soul Eater
Characters/Pairings: Angela, Blair, Lisa and Alisa
Summary: Blair stumbles across a young witch in the streets of Death City, and decides to bring her back to the Club, where she gets some lessons on how to better work her magic.
Notes: Lisa and Alisa's characterization is made up almost whole cloth, for obvious reasons. I wrote this on the assumption that the way we normally see them behave is their 'stage persona' ie how they act for customers. Anime canon, but with minor non-conflicting elements from manga canon tossed in. Was written for shotwatermelon as part of se_ladyfest. Works as a companion piece to my previous fic on the subject of Angela, but can also stand alone.
The dumpster was large and filled almost to capacity with the leavings of the seafood restaurant it sat behind. Blair picked through it gleefully, her paws shoving coffee grounds, eggshell, potato peelings, and other miscellany aside in search of the perfect meal. It was filled with tasty smelling things, but she ignored most of it, searching for the perfect meal.
She found it before long: a whole salmon, thrown away uncooked. She had no idea what would drive the restaurant's staff to throw such a treasure away so casually...nor did she really care. She burst out of the dumpster, carrying the fish in her mouth, and set it down on the pavement. “Thanks for the meal,” she said to the restaurant's metal back door, and then started digging in, chewing through it with the heedless enthusiasm of a hungry animal.
She was so wrapped up in it that it wasn't until she was cleaning herself up, full and satisfied, that she heard the sound coming from the opposite end of the alley. It was a quiet, sniffling sound, repeated arrhythmically, and interspersed with what sounded like sobs. Blair pricked her ears, scanning for the source of the sound, but as far as she could tell. She was the only one in the alley.
Her curiosity piqued, she padded towards the sound, her nose sniffing the air. There was something there alright. If she could only pinpoint it...
Then she looked up, and her eyes caught sight of something. It was floating in midair, apparently unattached to anything. It moved back and forth irregularly, twisting tantalizingly in the air above Blair's head.
It appeared to be a clump of straight brown hair.
Blair's head followed it, back and forth, as it dangled hypnotically out of reach. Her tail began swishing back and forth in time, and her body lowered, coiling like a spring.
She uncoiled suddenly, pouncing on the dangling object. It jerked out of the way at the last moment, and she missed, striking someone invisible but solid behind it. “Ow, get off!” the mystery person shouted in a hoarse voice, and Blair was suddenly thrust away. She hissed in protest, but landed on her feet, just in time to see the empty space around the mysterious hair shimmer, and gradually form itself into a small girl, eight or nine years of age. Her face was flushed, and wet with tears and snot. She looked blearily at Blair, who was staring at her, eyes wide open.
“Ooh,” Blair said, excited. “I found something interesting!”
“I'm back from lunch!” Blair called out as she slipped through the back door of the Chupa Club, into the break room. She pulled the sullen-faced girl behind her by the hand.
“Welcome back,” Lisa said, lounging on the couch. “It's completely dead today, though. Only one guy in the club, and Alisa is taking care of—oh gross, Blair!” She cut herself off and covered her nose, wincing at the stench. “Don't tell me you went dumpster diving again!”
Blair shrugged impudently. “A kitty's gotta do what a kitty's gotta do,” she said in the closest she ever got to a philosophical tone. “You should try it sometime.”
“Well, what a kitty's gotta do right now is hit the shower before any more customers come in,” Lisa said, gesturing Blair away. “Super gross.”
“On my way,” Blair reassured her as she headed off into the next room. “Watch the kid while I wash up, will ya?”
Lisa's eyes cast around, and landed on the girl, noticing her for the first time. She'd sat herself down on one of the chairs around the table.
“Where did you get a kid from?” Lisa demanded.
“Found her!” Blair shouted back from the other room.
“Found her where?” Lisa asked, but by then the shower had started running and Blair couldn't hear her.
Lisa sighed and looked back at the little girl. She was staring down at the ground, with a sullen expression and puffy eyes that spelled out that she'd recently had herself a good cry. Lisa stood and began filling a glass with water for the poor little thing.
“Here you go,” Lisa said, handing it to her as she sat back down. The girl took it with a mumbled sound that might have been a 'thank you'. Lisa sat back and watched her take a sip.
“So, what were you doing...wherever Blair found you?”
“I got lost,” the girl replied, shamefaced.
“Hey, don't feel bad,” Lisa said, ruffling the girl's hair. The girl looked up at her ruefully, but Lisa bore on heedlessly: “Happens to the best of us! Sometimes I swear this city was designed by a crazy person. I bet your mom and dad are worried about ya, though...”
She trailed off as the nagging sense of familiarity she'd been feeling since she laid eyes on this girl began resolving itself more concretely. “Say, I know you,” she said, moving a little closer to get a better look. “You're Angela, right?”
Angela looked back up at her, confusion and vague recognition fighting on her face. “Yes...?” she said hesitantly.
Lisa let out a happy squeal. “It's me, Ann! Lisa, from the Witch's Coven! Oh gosh, it's been years. Look at you, you're huge!”
Angela blinked a few times, clearly trying to remember who Lisa was. Then something clicked in her head and her eyes widened with recognition. “Oh! Big sis Lisa!”she said, a smile cracking her face for the first time. Her water glass hit the table, and the she threw herself into an embrace of Lisa's midsection, momentarily knocking the breath out of the older witch.
“Whoa, careful there, you're not as small as you used to be!” Lisa said, giving Angela's hair a light ruffle. “What are you even doing in Death City? It's dangerous here, y'know.”
“I live here,” Angela said, pulling away. “What are you doing here?”
“Same deal,” Lisa said, gesturing for Angela to take a seat beside her on the couch. “They caught me and Alisa sneaking around. Because we helped them with some magic stuff, they let us stay in the City instead of getting locked up.”
“Why don'tcha just leave?” Angela asked.
Lisa gestured at the collar she was wearing. It was tasteful and discrete, but she'd been wearing it for years. “If we leave city limits, Shibusen'll know, and back into a cell we go. Ooh, that rhymed,” she commented offhandedly.
“Besides, why would we want to leave?” Lisa continued with a shrug. “We like running this club. So many stupid men willing to throw money at us.”
Angela nodded, although she didn't really get it. “I'm a student here now,” she said. “Ms. Nygus' nice. The other kids are jerks, though.” She crossed her arms and pouted.
“Aww, what's wrong?” Lisa asked.
It was like a dam bursting. The complaints came bursting out of her mouth so fast that Lisa could only catch about half of them.”...they're mean just because I'm a witch, and they call me names and make fun of me and I don't have any friends and...”
She started sniffling again, and Lisa swooped down to give her a comforting squeeze. “Aw, you poor thing. They do sound like jerks. I bet you ran off from them and got lost?”
“It's so stupid,” Angela said with a nod. “It's not like I'm even really a witch yet. I still can't even turn invisible properly.”
“Oh?” Lisa said, and was about to ask for clarification when Blair burst back into the room, wearing nothing at all and toweling off her hair.
“Nope, she can't!” Blair said, her voice slightly muffled by the towel. “That was how I found her. I could still see a little bit of hair, just floating around.”
“Blair, clothes,” Lisa reminded her casually. Blair made a meowing sound and wandered over to fetch some. Lisa turned back to Angela, a little concerned. “Really? I'd have thought for sure you'd be able to do that by now. Here, show me.”
Angela nodded, and then her face twisted in concentration. Her body shimmered, and vanished...except for her right index finger, which was still plainly visible.
“Y'see?” her disembodied voice asked. “No matter what I do, I can't make that last bit disappear.”
Lisa looked her up and down, her witch eyes examining the flow of magic across Angela's body. Right where it met the visible finger, it was all caught up in knots. Just like Lisa had thought.
“I think I see the problem,” Lisa said. Then she looked over her shoulder to call Blair over: “Hey, Blair! I could use a hand over here.”
“Nya?” Blair said, wandering back over, clad in her normal – extremely scanty – gear. Lisa gestured her closer.
“Could you feed her a bit of your magic while I talk her through it? A little power boost would probably do her some good.”
“Alrighty!” Blair agreed. She grabbed Angela's (now-visible) hands, and squeezed them. “This is gonna feel a bit weird, but don't worry. I'm not gonna hurt ya.”
Lisa stepped behind the couch, and stuck her hands over Angela's eyes. “Okay, Ann, just close your eyes and listen to me. I want you to think about color. Don't think about disappearing, just about color. The color of the couch, the color of my dress, the color of the floor. Focus on that...and picture yourself changing color to match it. Think about yourself shifting and sliding and vanishing into the background...and then cast the spell.”
The extra magic power coming in from Blair was like golden light running up Angela's arms, pooling in the center of her tiny chest. Her breathing deepened as she focused on Lisa's voice, cutting everything else out, and the magic began spreading through her body, from her head down to the tips of her toes. She began vanishing again, but this time, instead of shimmering as she had done previously, the colors of her skin and clothing and hair began shifting, sliding liquid-like into each other like paint dripping down a canvas. After a few moments it coalesced into a perfect match for her surroundings, and she was completely invisible. Only the golden sparks of magic flitting down her body revealed her location. Blair began enthusiastically clapping.
“There you go!” Lisa said, pulling her hands away. “Open your eyes and have a good look at yourself. Or, you know, don't.”
Lisa couldn't actually see Angela open her eyes, for obvious reasons, but thanks to the sparks of excess magic floating around her, she could track the young girl's body language as she inspected herself.
“Wow, it worked!” she squealed with delight. “What'd you do!?”
Lisa grinned. “It was no big deal. You were just using your magic wrong. Chameleon magic works best for color matching, not straight invisibility. So your magic got all tangled in knots trying to make it do something it wasn't built for, and that kept it from working on whatever part you did last. The extra power from Blair helped speed it along. It'll take a bit of practice, but you should be able to do it by yourself.”
Angela turned around and slammed into her with a full-force tackle of a hug. “Thank you, thank you, thank you! I've been trying for ages to get it right, and I couldn't and it was–”
She stopped in midsentence. That was the first sign Lisa had that something was wrong. Then the magic still flitting around her invisible form began sparking and hissing ominously, like a live wire, or a pot just about to boil over.
“Ann?” Lisa asked tentatively. “You okay?”
“I feel funny,” was the only reply, and then things completely went to hell.
Magic began cascading out from her in waves, compressing the air around her and sending it forth as light shockwaves. The furniture began rattling, and the glass of water fell onto the floor, spilling its contents in a puddle that ripples with each magical wave. A loud hum began filling the air.
Lisa knew exactly what was happening. She'd seen this in action before. She also knew she couldn't let it happen here. “Ann, you've got to calm down!” she shouted over the noise.
“Something's wrong,” Angela replied, her voice panicky. And as she said that, a flare of brilliant light burst out from her chest, shoving Lisa and Blair back.
“Shit,” Lisa spit out, grinding her teeth together. It was too late to talk her down. She'd have to shut it down directly. “Blair, go get Alisa! I need her!”
Blair looked from Angela to Lisa and back again. “Whatever you say, boss!” she shouted back, and quickly retreated. She wanted no part of whatever was going on here.
Taking a deep breath, Lisa released her Soul Protect – a move that would light up boards all over Shibusen thanks to her collar, but she didn't have any better options at the moment. She began quickly weaving together a containment spell, similar to a Soul Protect, to switch magical powers off. It was a spell that all witches were taught at a young age. Unfortunately, it was also too complicated a spell to be cast by one witch alone.
Alisa burst through the door, taking in the scene quickly. “What the hell is going on here?” she demanded, her eyes flitting from Lisa to the dervish of magic and light in front of her. “What did you do!?”she demanded.
“Just shut up and help me, before she goes off!” Lisa shouted back. “I'll explain later!”
“Ugh, fine,” Alisa said, and then released her own Soul Protect. Her magic slipped out into the air, coalescing in the other half of the binding spell.
“Foxy Fox Love, Foxy Fox Love,” the two of them chanted in unison. “Soul Binding!”
The two halves of the spell came together, forming an irregular sphere around Angela, sealing the magic emanating off of her inside. The sphere shrank down, smaller and smaller, containing the runaway magic until it was gone altogether, and Angela was left totally visible, and slumped to the floor, exhausted.
Lisa and Alisa quickly followed suit, their breathing laboured. “Alright, sis,” Alisa said as she reengaged her Soul Protect. “What the hell was that all about?”
Lisa opened her mouth to give an answer, when she felt steel at her throat. She froze instinctively, and looking over, she saw Alisa in the same situation: a man with long blonde hair stood behind her, and held a katana to her. After a moment, Lisa recognized him as Angela's bodyguard. Lisa had no idea when they'd entered the room, or how long they'd been there.
“Don't move,” a voice that Lisa recognized as Sid's hissed into her ear.
“We didn't do anything wrong,” Lisa said, slowly raising her hands to indicate that she had no intention of resisting. “I was just helping Ann with her magic when she lost control.”
“Releasing Soul Protect is a violation of your parole,” Mifune said. His tone was calm, but there was a layer of anger and fear underneath it, the emotions of a worried father.
“We didn't have a choice,” Lisa snapped. “Would you rather we let the girl blow up?”
Before anyone could say anything further, Angela sat up in the center of the room, rubbing her eyes as if she'd just had a nap. “Where am I?” she asked nobody in particular, and then her eyes fell on her guardian. “Oh, Mifune!” she said, pulling herself up to her feet. “Check me out, check me out!”
She walked towards him, and she did she turned herself invisible, and then returned to normal. “See? Isn't it cool? I can only do it for a second, but I go all the way invisible! Isn't it awesome?”
The fact that she was clearly alright deflated the tension in the room. Both blades were withdrawn, and transformed into Nygus and Tsubaki. Tsubaki knelt down in front of her. “Did the nice ladies show you how to do that?”
Angela nodded. “Yep, they did!”
That seemed to settle the issue. Tsubaki took Angela by the hand, and led her towards the door. “Let's go home,” she said, smiling. “You must be getting hungry.”
Angela nodded, and waved at Lisa on the way out. “Seeya, Lisa!”
“Come back any time,” Lisa said, waving back.
It wasn't until everyone had filed out – Mifune giving them a warning glare as he did – and left only Lisa and Alisa alone in the back room that they could slump forward with relief that it was over.
“What was that?” Alisa demanded. “And was that Angela?”
“Yep,” Lisa confirmed. “I didn't realize she was so close to Breakthrough,” she continued, referring to the moment when a young witch's full magic first manifests itself. “The extra juice I had Blair give her must have pushed her over the edge.”
“How long do you think she has?” Alisa asked, standing up and heading over to the fridge for a good hard drink.
“Probably about six months tops before she goes off for real,” Lisa said. “Here, pour me some of that.”
Alisa poured out two glasses of hard liquor, and passed one over to Lisa as she sat down. She took a sip, and then a thought occurred to her. “You think we should warn them?”
They looked at each other a moment. Then broad smirks spread across their faces at the same time, and they spoke in unison: “Nope.”
After all, what kind of witches would they be if they didn't cause at least a little mischief?