Asuna fought to keep her eyes open, as she made the slow, exhausting trek through the halls of the Mahora Academy girls’ dorm building. Her tired, cramped legs told the story of a girl who’d woken up almost a full fifteen minutes late for work, and had barely enough time to change before dashing all the way to the Newspaper company that was generous enough to continuously employ her. It was more common of a story than she’d ever like to admit, but today, there was an extra chapter; The chapter in which she’d gotten there, out of breath, only to have her badge refused at the time clock. She’d been scared out of her wits, thinking they’d fired her, until the manager directly above her… Not nearly the most important person in the building, either… Had explained to her the truth.
“You have off today, for Thanksgiving,” he’d explained, brashly. And before she could ask any other questions, such as “What the hell is Thanksgiving,” he’d continued with “Don’t worry about it. Just go home, get some sleep, and we’ll see you tomorrow.”
She sighed, as she rounded the corner to the hallway she and Konoka were both situated at the end of. ‘I still have an hour before school starts,’ she thinks to herself. ‘At least I’ll be well rested for class today… But what the hell IS Thanksgiving?’
Before she even realized she was doing it, curiousity overcame her. As it often does to people her age. She stopped in the hallway, pulled out her phone, and punched in her teacher- and magic partner- Negi Springfield’s phone number. Konoka’s asleep, but at the very least HE should be getting up around now, right?
She switched her phone to texting mode, and did her best to type out “WTF is thanksgiving?” to the one person she had a number for whom she KNEW would be available. Of course, since her phone didn’t do romaji, she did her best to type out the awkward sounding word ‘thanksgiving’ in characters. After puzzling over it, and several unsuccessful tries, she got the word spelled out as best as she could, and sent it.
Only a few minutes later, before she could give up and just keep walking, she received a return text… And the little nerd had left a wall of it.
“Thanksgiving is an American holiday, celebrated in harvest fashion towards the end of each year to celebrate the arrival of their British ancestors on the continent.”
Well, not so much a wall. Somehow, she was getting the feeling that it would have been, but Negi was rushing through it… What, was he trying to get to school earlier than usual today?
Not entirely satisfied, she accepted his answer anyway, and continued on… But only got five steps before her phone buzzed to life with another text. From Negi again.
“I read that Chiu-sama’s going to do a Thanksgiving photoshoot today.”
Chiu-san? As in, Chisame? Asuna thinks, as her memories of Chisame’s alter ego came flooding back to her. If Chisame was going so far for this holiday, then she must know a thing or two about it. But will she even be awake? It’s worth checking.
Chisame’s dorm, in fact, was on the way to hers. Since she had the extra time anyway, what could it hurt to check?
She texted a quick ‘thnk u’ back to her teacher, and shut her phone off, and headed off in the same direction as before… Albeit with a much closer destination.
Arriving at Chisame’s door, she hesitated for a moment. It wouldn’t be fair to call Chisame a Hikikomori, but she did stay shut up in her room most of the time she wasn’t in class. And odds were, she’d be asleep anyway. Asuna knocked, cautiously, not expecting an answer. But she definitely wasn’t expecting the door to just slide open, as if Chisame had just forgotten to close it.
It was what she saw as the door was sliding open that was even more surprising. Or less surprising, depending on how you looked at it. It wasn’t the sight of Chisame that she was greeted with, but of Chiu-sama, the great net idol, posing sweetly for her web-cam. She wore what could only be described as a stereotypical Native American costume… A simple brown dress stretching from her hips to her knees, and a similarly colored top… considering how much of her it covered, it was more of a loose fitting sports bra than an actual shirt. Above the neck, for those who’d look that high, she wore some exaggerated war paint, and a pink-and-white feather in her hair.
She bent forwards, slyly giving her audience the eyeful they desired, while speaking cutely and innocently as if she didn’t know she was doing it. She must have received a comment she liked, because she laughed, and did a quick twirl… At which point she noticed Asuna, stifling a giggle in the doorway. It was a good thing she was facing away from the camera, because right in front of Asuna, her Chiu facade dropped just like Toto had pulled down the curtain, revealing the pissed off girl standing behind it. She stared at Asuna for a few moments in disbelief, her jaw about to fall from it’s joints, until the red headed troublemaker could control her reaction no more. She burst out laughing, as Chisame hastily put her Chiu face back on, and turned back to her web-cam.
“Um, ahem, I’m really sorry, but I have to take a short break. Don’t go anywhere, okay?” She shut off the camera, and stomped her way over to Asuna, sporting a scowl on her face that betrayed the murderous intent behind it. She reached out and grabbed Asuna by the shirt, as Asuna finally stopped laughing. “I am in the middle of a live broadcast, you idiot. What do you want?” She demanded, through clenched teeth.
Crap… Asuna waved a hand, submissively. “I’m sorry, really… I just… I had a few questions about Thanksgiving…”
“Questions?” Chisame repeated, and then looked behind her, at her computer. Her wheels were turning, and even Asuna could tell how bad that was. “Fine. You help me out, and I’ll answer them. Now get in here.”
Without waiting for an answer, Chisame yanked her into her dorm room, closing the door behind her. Locking it, this time. “Over there.” She grabbed her by the wrist, like the jaws of a vice, and dragged her over to a far corner of the room, where there was a standing white curtain set up. Apparently, Chisame liked to change out of view of her currently absent roommate. With a textbook Irish Whip, she threw Asuna behind the curtain, and pulled a black and white bundle of clothes out of her closet. “Change,” she demanded, throwing the bundle into Asuna’s lap.
Asuna blushed a bit as she unfolded it, and held the one-piece outfit up in front of her. The neckline was low, but not too low… It was the skirt that bothered her, as short as it was. No, what bothered her was the fact that it looked almost like a fetishy maid outfit. “Do I have to wear this?”
“It’s that or the door,” Chisame replied from out of view.
Asuna sighed, and began to change into the costume. Is this information really worth so much to me, or am I just bored? She applied the odd costume fairly quickly, not wanting to waste too much of her free sleeping time. “The chest area’s a little tight,” she complained, noting the snugness of it, and within a split second of her saying so, Chisame was in front of her, her hand around Asuna’s throat. “Say that again?”
“N-No, I didn’t mean-” Asuna stuttered, once again waving her hand in submission.
“Just get over here,” Chisame grumbles, sounding annoyed. She plants a short white bonnet on Asuna’s head, and pulled her over to the same spot that she’d been standing in when she’d been intruded upon before. She placed her arm tightly around Asuna’s waist, and threw on her Chiu persona so fast that it honestly startled Asuna. She switched on the web-cam.
“Hey boys!” She crooned, waving with her free hand. “I’m sorry I had to step away, but I just had to invite my best friend, Asu-nyan, to join me! She really wanted to meet you, and I know you’ll love meeting her! Doesn’t she just make the cutest little pilgrim?” She turned her head slightly, giving Asuna a sweet smile. Sweet, and unforgiving.
“Um, yeah,” ‘Asu-nyan’ replied. “Yup, I’m a piru… piru…”
“Isn’t she just the cutest?” Chiu interupted, hugging her new friend closer. “She has a problem with hard L sounds, the poor dear. She still needs some practice with them. But don’t you dare tease her over it!” She warned, wagging her finger. “I’ll never forgive you if you do.”
She finally let go of Asuna, her tight grip leaving behind a sore area that the viewers would never know about. “Okay, Asu-nyan, let’s try out some poses!”
Asuna groaned, letting Chisame’s door close… And lock… Behind her. Chisame had made her pose for the web-cam, which had been embarrassing for her, having to think of how many creepy older men were probably watching her through it. And creepy older men were not the GOOD kind of older men, either.
She had given a brief explanation of what Thanksgiving was, of course, after she’d gotten her costume back. In addition to what Negi had told her, she said it was a holiday in which the Americans celebrated the forming of their nation… It was the day, about 5 or 600 years ago, that a bunch of European settlers sat down for a large feast with the country’s then-inhabitants, forming a truce that would lead to America’s eventual growth. And then she’d unceremoniously shoved Asuna out the door, after ordering her to come by after school for some more pictures… For ‘security purposes,’ as she’d put it. Whatever. I just want to get some sleep now.
“You’re in my way,” a small, british voice interrupted. Asuna turned, matching the voice to a very impatient looking short blonde girl. Evangeline stood there with her arms folded across her chest, looking quite cross… But was it at her?
It was then that Asuna noticed the way the light was catching on the young vampire’s face. Was that… Was that glitter? Asuna jammed her tongue into her cheek, trying much harder to keep herself from laughing. Not laughing at Chisame would have been wise, but now, she honestly felt that her life may be on the line over it. “But you don’t live here,” she answered, after she finally felt composed enough to talk.
“I know that, you neanderthal. I’m trying to get to the girls’ bath. Now please move out of my way.”
Asuna raised her finger up, her hand shaking a bit, and pointed at Evangeline’s face. She was trying to retain her composure, but the girl was sparkling! “Because of…”
“Yes, because of THAT,” Evangeline snapped. “Don’t ask, and for the love of God, don’t point. What are you standing around looking spacey for, anyway?”
Asuna gave Evangeline a quick explanation of why she’d been sent home from work, and the answers she’d received thus far. When she’d gotten to the explanation that Chisame had given her, she could see a little spark in the shrimpy vampire’s eye. “Oh, is THAT what she said… Well, that is a very common misconception. Among grade-schoolers, at least. Would you like to hear the truth?” Her mouth twisted into a mischievous grin, as Asuna nodded cautiously.
Not long afterwards, Asuna opened the door to her dorm, as Evangeline passed behind her, looking much more satisfied with herself than she had before. She closed the door, and crossed the room to her bed, still having thirty minutes to sleep until school. As if hearing her steps, Konoka poked her head out of the bathroom, a toothbrush hanging out of her mouth. “Back already?” She asked, as Asuna climbed the ladder to her bunk.
Asuna pulled the covers over her, and buried her head in her pillow, hoping to forget what she’s just heard. “Do me a favor, Konoka-chan. Next time I have a question about America, just tell me that I don’t want to know.”
Author’s notes: This fic was my response to a challenge on another site… Write a story involving two canons from Negima, a sparkling vampire, and thanksgiving. Unfortunately, the word limit was 600, so they’ll be getting a short version of it. But this is the original, and the better version, so post a review to tell me what you think. If you don’t, Chiu-sama will never forgive you.
By the way, in the development stages, this story included a cameo from Takahata-sensei, and a slightly larger role from Konoka. They were both cut early on for pacing purposes. Sorry if that bothers you!