Disclaimer: I own none of the characters from Negima, I’m just borrowing them for awhile. This story also has spoilers for the Chao war plot line and beyond in the Negima manga.
Chisame Hasegawa scowled as the redhead stomped towards her room, her round glasses gleaming. Normally she would have been eagerly going home, plotting the further activities of her online persona Chiu, but lately she had been feeling strangely dissatisfied with it all.
‘It was that damn pactio,’ Chisame silently admitted to herself as she walked towards her personal computer.
In the middle of the conflict with Chao she had formed a contract with Negi, getting a magical artifact that assisted her in fighting the war in cyberspace. Using the modified baton Chisame could travel into cyberspace in her Chiu persona, even bringing others in with her, and there she could program with incredible speed and skill.
“Of course, that’s the problem now,” Chisame murmured as she sat in front of the keyboard, not even changing to her Chiu guise. Since gaining her artifact she had become so good it wasn’t a challenge to manipulate the web, in fact her site was the most popular one among all net idols. Literally, there was nothing left for her to do.
The sound of knocking on her door made Chisame frown even more fiercely as she got up. “What?” she demanded as she flung open the door, only to freeze.
The young woman standing there in the hall looked familiar, but oddly different as well. Short green hair fell down to her shoulders, and odd, rounded metallic ears stuck out from each side of her head as she struggled with a slightly overlarge dress, her blue eyes as open and innocent looking as ever.
“Chachamaru?” Chisame blinked.
“Chisame,” Chachamaru nodded, “I was hoping to find you here. I need your assistance with something.”
“What happened to you?” Chisame asked as she waved her friend inside. Of course, she would never admit to considering her a friend, but the android girl had surprisingly become quite close to her.
Chachamaru followed her in, smiling slightly, “Mistress Hakase is upgrading my usual body, so she put my core programs into this one.” She tugged at her oversized clothes, “However, she forgot to prepare clothing for me.”
“I should have something in my cosplay gear that will fit you,” Chisame said while trying to hide her amusement at how cute the new Chachamaru looked, almost like a child wearing her parent’s clothes.
“Exactly why I came here,” Chachamaru agreed.
Swinging her closet open Chisame was faintly surprised at how nice it felt, having Chachamaru needing her help. “What sort of clothes would you like?” she asked, turning with several variations on school girl uniforms in her hands only to freeze in surprise.
Chachamaru calmly finished stripping, revealing a body far less doll like than her old one. “A uniform would be fine,” she said calmly.
“Right,” Chisame managed, gulping. “You’re new body,” she said as she picked out a uniform that would be roughly Chachamaru’s new size, “it’s much more human looking than your old one.”
“Yes,” Chachamaru agreed as she took the clothes from her, “Mistress Hakase even designed my new body for sex.”
“What?!” Chisame gazed at Chachamaru in surprise.
Chachamaru calmly got dressed as she said, “Apparently, Mistress feels I should be prepared, assuming my relationship with Negi progresses far enough.”
Chisame rolled her eyes, “Would all of you idiots get it through your heads he’s a ten year old?!” She waved her hands, “There are far more appropriate people to be fixating on!”
“Indeed?” Chachamaru dressed with simple grace, only having a bit of trouble with her newly redesigned ear-antenna.
“Here,” Chisame helped her, getting the shirt over the ear-antenna with a certain amount of care, “is that better?”
“Much, thank you,” Chachamaru bowed slightly.
“Heh,” Chisame smiled slightly.
“What are you doing?” Chachamaru asked curiously, looking around Chisame’s room.
With a bit of embarrassment Chisame admitted, “I was going to work on my site for awhile, but I don’t really feel like it.”
“I understand Mistress Evangeline is having a informal meeting with Negi-sensei and his comrades,” Chachamaru noted, “why don’t you come?”
“Oh no, I don’t want to hang out with those crazies!” Chisame protested.
Chachamaru blushed faintly, “Chisame, this will be the first time they’ll see my new body.” She hesitated as she confessed, “I’m nervous.”
“No one would say anything,” Chisame reassured her.
“Maybe, but...” Chachamaru shrugged, “could you please come along?”
Chisame scratched the back of her head and sighed. “All right,” she gave in, “I’ll go.”
Chachamaru took her hands and smiled, “Thank you.”
Evangeline’s resort made Chisame’s head hurt, honestly. In the basement of Evangeline’s home, it looked like a model of a tower in a glass globe, but if you stood in the right place you were transported inside. Within the tower, it was always summer and sunny, with much more room inside than one would have expected. Even better, time ran differently within the resort, so that when a hour passed in the real world, a day passed inside it.
Making things even crazier, Evangeline had recently expanded it to six globes, the original resort and five new enviroments, interconnected. A castle, jungle, arctic and desert world, each reachable via warp gates in each globe. It completely defied the laws of physics and common sense, all of which made Chisane’s head pound.
Thankfully, the arrival of Chachamaru to the party went well, with Negi exclaiming how cute she was and the others following up. Ku Fei seemed complimented by the similarity in their looks, Nodoka and Yue said she was adorable and Kotaru seemed impressed by how tough she was. Evangeline herself nodded approvingly before adding, “It’s not bad, but I can’t wait till the old you is back.”
“Doesn’t that upset you?” Chisame asked later, the two sitting at tables in the outdoor café in Evangeline’s castle. Below them a waterfall rumbled softly, liquid falling endlessly to the bottom of the globe.
“No,” Chachamaru shook her head, “Evangeline merely prefers I look the same.” She looked thoughtful, “I think she is comforted, being a immortal and having someone mostly unchanging like me around.”
“Hadn’t thought of that,” Chisame admitted. “You’re pretty perceptive, dealing with Evangeline and the rest of us.”
“Oh?” Chachamaru asked.
“You certainly pegged me quickly for being intrigued by magic and our teacher, Negi,” Chisame admitted as she stirred then drank from her cup of tea. ‘How can there be birds flying by if this is a closed enviroment?’ she wondered as she watched them soar by, ‘There’s nowhere for them to fly to.’
“I don’t think you would have joined us after the martial arts tournament if you hadn’t been interested,” Chachamaru noted.
“Well, yeah,” Chisame looked away, blushing.
While watching the martial arts tournament Chisame had found herself shocked again and again by the special skills and abilities that the fighters had displayed. Not just Negi, but ninjas, shadow users and others had appeared, each one making her lose her faith in the ordinary. That, along with the spreading virus of magic on the internet lead Chisame to begin to believe in magic, along with a few conversations with Chachamaru.
Chisame sweatdropped a bit, “Thank you for being so patient with me in this.”
“It’s been my pleasure,” Chachamaru answered calmly. She paused, “It’s been nice, making a new friend.”
‘Friends, she sees it too?’ Chisame sighed mentally, ‘I guess I’m just going to have to accept it.’ Aloud she said, “It’s been interesting, I have to confess.”
“How is it, dealing with Ayaka and Makie?” Chachamaru asked, a spark of amusement in her eyes.
Chisame groaned as Chachamaru actually chuckled. The two ladies had been assisted by Chisame in the costume contest, then later had helped Chiu battled in cyberspace and as a side effect both girls had become determined to bring Chisame out of her shell, so to speak. To say it was aggravating was a understatement.
“I’m hoping if I ignore them they’ll just go away,” Chisame sighed.
Chachamaru looked sympathetic, “I could try to put them off you, somehow. I know when rumors about Mistress Evangeline and I circulated, people left us alone.”
“Rumors about you two...” Chisame blinked, then flushed as she realized what she meant. “Well, if you were calling her mistress in class, I can see why people were nervous.”
“I didn’t understand the connotations till later,” Chachamaru admitted wryly.
‘She’s so innocent at times,’ Chisame mused, ‘yet worldly too. It was charming, in a odd sort of way.’ She paused a moment, ‘What am I thinking, charming?’
“Would you like something to drink?” one of the Chacha robot pototypes asked, carrying a tray with various beverages.
“More tea, please,” Chachamaru smiled.
“And some cookies too,” Chisame added. She looked over at Chachamaru, watching the graceful girl who sat across from her. Most people, she wouldn’t willingly spend ten minutes chatting with, but Chachamaru seemed to easily charm her. ‘Wish I understood why she liked to be around me, too,’ she mused.
“Because you’re not afraid of me,” Chachamaru answered honestly.
“I said that last bit aloud?” Chisame blinked.
“Afraid so,” Chachamaru gave her a gentle smile.
Chisame reached out to put her hand over Chachamaru’s. “You’re one of the kindest people I know,” she said.
Chachamaru was a bit surprised by the gesture but smiled. “I’m also the one a third of the class saw beat Negi severely,” she noted, “and word got around. That’s not the sort of thing people forget.”
“Then they’re fools,” Chisame said fiercely.
“Thank you, Chisame,” Chachamaru smiled brightly.
Once again, Chisame felt a uncomfortable stirring in her chest. ‘Yeah, there’s more appropriate people than a ten year old to be focusing on,’ she silently mused, ‘and it looks like I’ve found one.’
Notes: Chachamaru and Chisame have a very interesting character arc in the Negima manga, becoming near friends then adversaries in the whole Chao story line. I rather liked how Chisame enjoyed teasing Chachamaru, and the odd connection they forged.