An Oh My Goddess fanfic
by Mike Breslau
Note: Most of the characters appearing in this story are copyrighted by their rightful copyright owners and are used without permission, but with gratitude. Donner and Kenji appear with the consent of Ed Sharpe, who has copyrights on the characters. Tomasu is my own creation. Please don't sue me, I haven't got enough to make it worthwhile.
In this story read this as emphasis, and :this as telepathy.:
Megumi No Megami
As told by Megumi
Chapter 1 - Revalations
For the past few million years there has been a rumor going around among the younger set to the effect that I was not always a goddess. These rumors are true, but not entirely accurate. I would like to take this opportunity to set the record straight. Originally, I was indeed a mortal. My name was Morisato Megumi, and I was the younger sister of Morisato Keiichi. Yes, the Morisato Keiichi. Explains a lot, doesn't it? For the first 16 years my life seemed ordinary enough. I was a bright and spunky kid, reasonably popular, and my school grades were somewhat better than Keiichi's. Just goes to show that school grades aren't everything. When I entered college as a computer science major (yes, we did have computers that long ago, but they were still quite new) some very unusual things began happening, most of them connected to my brother or the three young women he was living with. I'd like to begin my story with one memorable night that changed my life forever.
We had just finished eating the last bit of dinner at the temple where Keiichi and the three sisters lived.
"Your meals are always so delicious, Belldandy. How do you do it?" I asked.
Belldandy looked pleased. "Well, I do have a little secret..." Keiichi held his breath. I raised an eyebrow, encouragingly. Belldandy continued, "I always cook with love in my heart. If you have enough love in your heart then anything you make will be wonderful." Keiichi exhaled in relief.
"I wish I could eat your cooking forever!" I said, patting my tummy appreciatively.
Belldandy flashed her beautiful smile and replied, "Thank you, Megumi, that's very flattering."
There was a short, contented pause. "Now," I said, "would someone please tell me what happened last night?"
Keiichi looked nervous. "What do you mean, Meg-chan?"
"It's obvious that something momentous occurred here recently. Belldandy looks even happier than usual, Urd and Skuld seem to be more serene and relaxed than ever, but you Onii-chan (brother), are a paradox. You're both more and less sure of yourself, happier and distressed at the same time, and distracted too. Even the temple itself feels different-cleaner somehow-though it looks the same."
Urd muttered softly, "He's a paradox all right," but not so quietly that I didn't hear.
Belldandy, Urd, and Skuld exchanged glances, then Belldandy said, "Kei-chan, I think you should tell her."
Keiichi was startled. "Everything?" he asked.
"Everything. I think she can handle it," replied Belldandy calmly.
Keiichi tried to collect his thoughts. "Megumi, this is going to be hard to believe. In fact, I have trouble believing it myself, and I've lived it. For example, these three ladies who have been living with me are more than they seem to be-they're actually Megami (Goddesses)," he began.
"Oh, I knew that already," I interrupted with a dismissive wave of my hand, "but I didn't know what kind of goddesses they are or why they're living here with you." They were all surprised that I already knew their "secret."
"How did you know?" asked Skuld.
"Well let's see," I said, and started counting off points on my fingers. "You've been evasive about where you come from. You're obviously not Japanese, yet you speak Nihongo (Japanese) perfectly. Urd-sama's feet don't always reach all the way down to the floor..."
Urd blushed. "I try to control myself, but I'm more comfortable in midair," she explained.
I continued, "I have an earth spirit living in my apartment, disguised as a mouse. I've been possessed by Mara the demon. I've been turned into an automobile..." I really had their attention now. "But the real tip-off occurred when I'd just met Belldandy. She was so kind and generous that I remarked that she must be a Megami. Keiichi's guilty reaction gave it all away. Since it was clear that you didn't want to talk about it, I respected your wishes and didn't bring the subject up again. But I've been dying of curiosity."
Keiichi seemed to relax a bit.
Urd looked at me sharply and said, "You weren't supposed to remember any of those incidents, Megumi."
I shrugged and tried to look apologetic.
Belldandy gave me an approving look and said, "Since our secret is out, I guess you won't mind if I do this," she said, and gestured at the table. The remnants of dinner flew into the kitchen, leaving the table spotless. The sound of running water was heard briefly, followed by the sound of cupboard doors closing, and then the refrigerator door opened and shut.
"That's a neat trick!" I exclaimed.
Skuld raised an eyebrow, then arose and went into the kitchen. She soon returned and observed, "Onee-chan (older sister) is getting fancy. She used to limit herself to stacking everything neatly in the sink, but today it's all cleaned and put away or properly disposed of."
Belldandy replied, "Do you remember those hints Sensei dropped last night? Well, I've been practicing..." I noted her use of 'sensei' (teacher), but decided to withhold comment for now.
Keiichi made proper introductions. "These are the three Norns, or Fates. Urd is the Goddess of the Past, Belldandy is the Goddess of the Present, and Skuld is the Goddess of the Future. I met Belldandy when I misdialed the telephone and reached the Relief Goddess Office. She emerged from a mirror and offered to grant me one wish. I was quite disconcerted of course, but she seemed so nice that I wished for a girl like her to stay with me forever."
I interrupted with, "I see. Are you immortal now, or does she have to follow you to an afterlife?"
They all gave me funny looks. Skuld muttered, "why do they see right away things that we completely miss?"
"I'm immortal," Keiichi answered, "but you're getting ahead of my story. Urd, would you tell her how you became involved?"
Urd looked a little embarrassed. "I came here to play Cupid because I thought these two lovers weren't getting it on quickly enough. Then I got temporarily exiled here, as punishment for behavior unbecoming a goddess."
He turned to the youngest goddess. "Skuld, why don't you tell her how you came here?"
Skuld spoke softly. "I came because I was lonely in Heaven with my sisters away, and I wanted their help since the computer bugs were getting out of hand. I've been appointed 'surface world trainee,' so I can't return to Heaven yet."
That caught my professional interest. "You have computer bugs in Heaven? I find that surprising."
Skuld nodded. "We have the best computers in the universe, but sometimes the complexity of the software gets out of control. Urd has a position as System Administrator, and I help with programming and debugging."
Keiichi continued his story. "Last night I was trying to study for an exam, but Urd and Skuld were fighting and I couldn't concentrate with all the noise. I asked them to stop, but it didn't work. So in desperation I cast a magic spell on them so I could have a little peace and quiet."
I was surprised. "Wow, my shy brother cast a spell on two goddesses! That must have been a sight. Keiichi, I didn't think you had it in you. What kind of spell was it?" I asked eagerly.
With a touch of pride in his voice, Keiichi replied, "Urd described it as a 'conscience with a big stick.' While they both behave themselves nothing happens. If either misbehaves they both go into 'quiet mode,' and become completely silent and utterly harmless. Should either of them approach borderline behavior they get a tingling sensation as a caution signal. I had designed the spell as a training device, rather than as a coercion or compulsion."
I nodded. "How did they take it?"
"Oh, you know the classical stages of grieving, from shock through acceptance. They went through them more quickly than you might expect, because deep down they really wanted an end to their pointless bickering. Skuld, would you tell the next section of the story?"
"Okay," answered Skuld. "For a long time I had disliked Keiichi-sama for a variety of reasons. Last night he made a very eloquent plea for my friendship and vowed to wait as long as necessary for me to accept him. Urd pointed out that it might take more than his lifetime for me to change my mind. This gave him the opportunity to ask whether I had the power to foresee his death. I really dislike scanning the future, because it usually causes more problems than it solves. When he insisted, I tried it-and I was completely bewildered. Keiichi-sama never dies in any possible future! I still don't understand it. He had suspected as much, just like you did, because of the wording of his wish."
My brother then resumed the tale. "Unfortunately, I got a lot more than I'd expected. Skuld had seen more of my probable destiny than either of us had wanted her to see, and suddenly she began treating me with the greatest respect. I was bewildered-a goddess was in awe of me! When I asked her why she was honoring me with 'sama' she asked whether I preferred 'sensei.' It seems that I'm destined to be teaching advanced magic techniques to all the gods in Heaven."
I was impressed. Clearly, there was more to Keiichi than met the eye.
Keiichi continued, "Skuld's change of attitude was shocking enough, but her sisters started doing it too. I think they've been lavishing respect upon me that I haven't earned yet. I feel more like the mortal I used to be than like the esteemed tutor to the gods."
Urd was plainly upset by this explanation. "Keiichi-sama, you border on the insulting. We goddesses aren't so foolish as to lavish unearned respect on you, or anyone else."
Belldandy tried to calm her sister. "Urd, give him some time to adjust. His world was turned upside down last night." Turning to me she explained, "What he didn't tell you, because he can't believe it himself, is that his very first spell is a masterpiece. No goddess alive can equal it, in either design or execution. Yet, Keiichi created this jewel from the discarded scraps of other people's magic. He's already earned all the respect we've given him."
I turned to Keiichi. "Do I understand that you're conflicted because you have a long and honorable, if not glorious, destiny? Onii-chan, you've a lovely goddess who adores you and who'll stay with you forever, a remarkable and valuable talent, and you're probably immune to both death and taxes. If only I could have such problems! Is that why you seem so upset?"
"It's not as simple as that, Meg, it's an identity thing. Suddenly I'm not who or what I thought I was. I'm lost in uncharted territory without a guideline."
He paused a moment to collect his thoughts before continuing. "I guess I'm overwhelmed by the responsibilities that I'll face someday. I'm not ready for this yet. Often a little foreknowledge is a dangerous thing."
I answered, "Onii-chan, nobody is going to ask you to do things you're not ready for yet. That would be foolish and counterproductive. You weren't ready for college when you first entered primary school, yet here you are about to graduate with respectable grades. It took a large fraction of your life to get from that early beginning to now. Why are you borrowing trouble?"
He considered this, and I could see his mood lighten. "Meg-chan, you're right. I'll take life one day at a time, and let the future come at its own pace. Thank you." He gave me a quick hug. After a moment of reflection he turned somber again. "You know, I'll have to resign from the Auto Club now."
"Why?" I asked. I thought Keiichi had always enjoyed the club activities.
"It's because of my sense of fairness. I'm protected by the Ultimate Force and the other drivers aren't-so I can push my machine harder and take risks that they can't. I wonder if that's why I've been winning so consistently, even when the goddesses aren't helping me."
"I'm sure you've been winning on talent alone, Onii-sama, but you're right about the unfair advantage over the other drivers." I paused. "After you graduate it'll be easy to resign from the club because you won't be associated with NIT, so you won't be eligible for membership."
He nodded in agreement. "One thing still bothers me. With the fighting stopped and the temple swept clean of residual magic, where am I going to get the mana I need to refine my magical skills? I don't want to have to ask a goddess for some energy every time I need to practice a little magic."
I grinned wickedly at him. "Why don't you make your own mana, Keiichi?"
He gave me a funny look. "Huh? How?"
"Like this!" I said, and extending my hand palm upwards I concentrated for a moment and exhibited a small ball of magical energy. "It's not as much nor as good as what goddesses have, but after all I'm only a mortal," I explained.
You could have heard a pin drop. Urd threw up her hands and exclaimed, "Oh no, not another Morisato. The universe isn't ready for two of them."
Skuld was visibly shaken. "Remind me to never, ever, use the phrase 'only a mortal.' Who knows what they're capable of?"
Belldandy was the least disturbed. "Megumi, are there any more like you where you come from?"
"I don't think so... Keiichi is my only sibling, if that's what you're asking."
Keiichi asked, "Meg-chan, how did you learn to do that?"
"Probably the same way you learned to use magic," I replied, "The classical scientific method: Observation, deduction, and experimentation. I haven't had the opportunity to learn how to use it yet-the goddesses usually refrained from doing magic in my presence."
Keiichi looked thoughtful. "If you can teach me how to make that, I can teach you how to use it."
"Sounds like an offer you can't refuse," observed Skuld, "You'll never find a better tutor."
I was delighted. "Okay, Onii-chan, I accept. When can we start?"
"We'll have to go slow for the next week, because final exams and graduation are coming up. But I see no reason why we can't start right away, for an hour each day."
Skuld eagerly asked, "Would you two mind if I sat in on those lessons? I may be a goddess, but my powers are only beginning to manifest, so I'm not really out of place in a beginner's course." We had no objections.
I observed, "Do you see how things work out, Keiichi? You aren't afraid of teaching me. Now you'll have the opportunity to practice training a goddess."
"It would be better if Megumi became a permanent part of our household," suggested Belldandy. "Does anyone have any problem with that?"
"It's all right with me, but where would I stay? All the rooms here are taken."
Belldandy smiled. "I know a way to accommodate you that will please all of us." She didn't elaborate.
Keiichi began, "It's not a problem for me; Meg and I get along pretty well for siblings." A mischievous grin spread across his face. "Besides, if we start to fight with each other you goddesses can cast a certain spell on us."
Urd made a derisive sound. "That's easy for you to say Keiichi-sama. If anyone tried to cast a spell on you, you'd probably catch it in midair, bend it into some novel shape, stamp it 'Return To Sender,' and toss it back."
Keiichi blinked in surprise. "That shouldn't be difficult. I could probably do it now if I saw it coming."
"I was only kidding," muttered Urd. Louder, she said, "Okay Keiichi-you're on." She gathered her mana and said, "Here's the windup... and here's the pitch." She cast her spell at him.
Keiichi held his hand up in a gesture of refusal. Suddenly Urd's body began to glow with violet light, except for the Kanji "Return To Sender" in brilliant white on her abdomen. The violet glow shifted to blue, and then ran through the spectrum to red, after which both lights winked out.
"That was a great show!" I exclaimed, and applauded.
Urd looked close to tears. "Arggh! He's doing it again. 'That shouldn't be difficult' he says. I'm going to have an inferiority complex," she wailed. Urd looked lke she wanted to bang her head against the wall.
Keiichi looked mystified by her reaction. Belldandy explained, "Kei-chan, none of us could have done that. The best I can manage would be to deflect or nullify an incoming spell, and I could only do that with difficulty. You not only did it on very short notice, with no prior experience, but you must have done it without using any energy at all, because you have no mana left."
Keiichi responded, "Yes, I have no magical energy now, but I used some of the mana that her spell contained."
Skuld looked dazed. "Keiichi-sama, I suspect you do three impossible things every morning before breakfast. I'm truly ashamed of the way I treated you before," she said. Turning to Urd, "Onee-chan, what kind of spell did you originally cast?"
"It was like a water balloon. He would have been soaking wet for 30 seconds, and then clean and dry." She looked down at herself. "At least he left in the clean and dry part."
The next week was hectic, but it went by quickly. For an hour each evening Keiichi, Skuld, and I practiced my technique for generating magical energy. We improved and refined it. Keiichi observed that he didn't need as much mana as a goddess needed, since all his experience had been with small quantities of leftover magic and he had learned to be frugal with it. Skuld noted that my technique was quite different from the way gods got their own mana, and could still be used even after a god's own divine power had been exhausted. This implied that no deity need ever be totally out of mana again because they could use my method as an emergency reserve. It seemed that "mortal magic," as we started to call it, while not abundant, didn't run out the way "divine magic" sometimes did.
Keiichi's graduation day dawned bright and clear. Our mother Takano and our father Keima arrived early in the morning feeling excited and eager to see their first-born son get his degree. Keiichi made the introductions. "Keima, Takano, I believe you've met my housemates before." Indicating the eldest sister, he continued, "This is Urd. She's a Chemistry major." He was careful not to mention that she was a Megami.
Her voluptuous beauty visibly impressed Keima, and slightly scared him too, but out of politeness he said, "I'm pleased to meet you." Keima is even shyer around women than Keiichi is. Urd smiled and bowed in response.
Indicating the next sister, Keiichi said, "This is Belldandy. She's majoring in Home Economics, and she's a first-class chef too."
With some warmth, Takano said, "You're the one who usually answers the phone whenever I call."
Belldandy bowed and replied, "I used to have a job answering the phone at a help desk. I guess it became a habit. I'm pleased to meet you, Mrs. Morisato."
Keiichi introduced the youngest sister. "This is Skuld. She's taking a dual major, Mechanical and Electronic Engineering."
Keima observed, "That's a heavy load for such a young lady. You must be quite precocious." Keiichi, Belldandy, and Urd nodded their agreement.
Skuld flushed slightly and replied, "I do seem to have a talent for engineering. I'm pleased to meet you both." She bowed.
Takano asked, "Keiichi, have you been living unsupervised with three women, and foreigners at that?"
Keiichi answered, "Mom, I'm an adult now. These three sisters may be gaijin (foreigners) but they're very proper and well behaved. I'm glad to know them and proud to call them my friends."
I thought "proper and well behaved" was stretching the truth a bit, but I held my tongue. Instead, I chimed in with, "Takano, I've been a frequent visitor here. If they were fooling around I'd know it. I can assure you that nothing improper or immoral has happened. These are three fine young women, and it shouldn't matter that they're foreigners." Mother seemed to relax a little at that.
The graduation ceremony was a typical NIT Commencement. It was impressive enough the first time, but I wouldn't want to experience it again and again. I'll spare you the details.
When it was over, Belldandy announced, "I have a nice dinner planned for us all."
Takano asked, "Are you sure? We were planning to treat you to a fine restaurant."
"Hai," replied Belldandy serenely. Keiichi and I nodded our agreement. Belldandy didn't disappoint us. She didn't serve anything that couldn't be found in one of the finer Japanese restaurants, but everything she made had that distinctive Belldandy touch.
When dinner was nearly over, Father asked, "Son, does she always cook this well?" He was obviously impressed.
"At least this well," responded Keiichi, "sometimes even better. I'm getting spoiled, and enjoying every minute of it."
"Have you considered marrying Belldandy, Son? She seems to like you," mused Keima.
"Dear!" said mother sharply. She left unsaid "She's a foreigner."
Keiichi took it in stride, and smiled. "The idea has occurred to me. I think we'd be happy together, but there are some problems that need to be worked out."
Keima asked, "Such as?"
"For example, where would we live?"
"I see," said Keima. "Are there any religious differences, perhaps?"
Keiichi suppressed a grin and answered with a straight face, "Something like that. For now we're content to be good friends." He wondered if a goddess could even have a religion.
The Norns were on their best behavior all day. When they left, our parents had been favorably impressed. Takano even began to get over her discomfort about the "foreigners."
After our parents were gone, Belldandy quietly moved into Keiichi's room (about time!) and I moved into Belldandy's old room. The next morning Keiichi and Belldandy both seemed very pleased with the new arrangement. Skuld blushed in embarrassment but said nothing.
Keiichi had decided to forego employment temporarily so that he could devote himself full time to our magic lessons. He sent carefully worded letters to the companies that had offered him a job. At least for a while we could live without income, obtaining whatever we needed by conjuring.
The summer settled into a pattern. During the morning Skuld and I practiced what we had learned the previous day, while Keiichi secluded himself in his room preparing for today's lesson. In the afternoon Keiichi-sensei would teach us our lessons, and the evenings were devoted to entertainment and Belldandy's wonderful dinners.
During these evening hours, bonds of friendship and affection, even intimacy, began to grow among all five of us. I felt more at home than I ever had before. I knew that I belonged here-there was just something right about our arrangement. Without realizing it, the five of us were becoming a family.
Six wonderful, incredible weeks passed this way, and we all grew and changed in marvelous ways. I was doing things that no mortal had ever done before, and loving it. Skuld blossomed like a flower bud opening. She and Urd were getting along much better now. Keiichi changed the most. His hesitation, uncertainty, timidity, and shyness were replaced by maturity, confidence, and even a sense of mastery. Let me show you what I mean.
It was early afternoon on one of those midsummer days with a cobalt blue sky. The three of us were in the yard behind the temple. Keiichi began speaking in a calm, confident tone: "I've left a beacon at the temple so we'll be able to find our way back here no matter what. There's a 'don't notice me' spell on us that will ensure our privacy. We won't be invisible, but observers will make a point of not looking at us. I suggest that you not look down for the first 20 meters if you suffer from vertigo. As always, please pay attention to every sensation, no matter how slight. Are you ready?"
"Yes, Sensei," we answered in unison.
Keiichi extended his arms sideways, as if he were trying to become an airplane. We did the same, I taking his right hand in my left, Skuld taking his left hand. I felt a gathering of energy, a slight loss of weight, and then the ground fell away from beneath our feet! Slowly first, then faster and faster we rose into the crystal clear air. I must have squealed with joy. At about 300 meters altitude we leveled off and began accelerating on a horizontal path. I could hardly contain my exhilaration.
"Besides the wind, do you feel a faint sensation of something passing by your body? It's most easily noticeable at this speed," said Keiichi.
"I feel it. If it were any stronger it would tickle. What is it?" I asked.
"It's the fabric of the space-time continuum itself. Pay attention, that's what you'll be manipulating when you fly solo."
"You mean like Warp Drive?" asked Skuld, almost incredulous.
Keiichi laughed. "Yes, it's like Warp Drive on a budget. Don't go overboard today-we'll cover space travel and time travel in future lessons. Right now we're flying due north. We're about to make a U-turn. See whether you can tell the difference between the way flying south feels and the way flying north feels." We reversed direction in the sky.
"I can feel the difference," said Skuld, "I never thought different directions would have their own flavors."
Soon we turned left and flew east, then west, and even some short distances up and down. Each direction had a distinctive feel. I was surprised that I had never noticed it before.
We returned to the area directly above the temple and began circling slowly. "It's time for solo flying," Keiichi said. "I'll back you up so you won't fall. Megumi, you go first. Feel for the fabric of the universe and move it gently past yourself-don't tear it. Let go of my hand and move away in some direction that I don't expect, so that you'll know you're in control."
I released his hand, then veered away down and to the left, passing beneath them. Then I circled around up and to the right, passing above them and coming to a position near where I had started. I began to slowly pivot about a vertical axis until I was flying feet first. Skuld and I were wearing trousers because flying in a skirt isn't practical. After a few more flips, I was right side up and pointed in the right direction. I took Sensei's hand, and then it was Skuld's turn to solo. Skuld's performance was more acrobatic than mine, with fancier maneuvers. "She's good," I thought.
"You've learned the basics," Sensei said, "now its time for something harder. Landing is tougher than it looks-you really don't want to be going too fast when you touch down. First we'll practice landing together, then you'll do it solo. Here we go." We arrowed down at high speed then slowed abruptly at low altitude and landed gently. The rest of the afternoon went by like this.
As dinner began, Belldandy asked, "How did today's lesson go?"
Skuld spoke up eagerly. "Remember when I said Kei-sama could teach birds how to fly? I was absolutely right." Using a technique we had learned earlier, Skuld projected the scene she was imagining as a three dimensional image in front of us. We saw a flock of penguins flying in formation over an arctic snowscape, their flippers extended but not flapping.
I responded with an image of an ostrich flying similarly over sandy dunes. Her penguins scattered when my ostrich accidentally flew into their space, then both images faded away. We all laughed because the birds looked so comical.
Belldandy looked quizzically at me. "It was a wonderful, exhilarating experience. Flying is the most fun I can have with my pants on," I declared. We had another laugh. Then I sobered up. "Onii-chan, you really should consider a spell to protect yourself against romantic entanglements while teaching, unless you want all your students to fall in love with you. Your training methods are intimate, and flying lessons are especially aphrodisiac."
Keiichi considered this advice for a moment, and he nodded. Then he changed the subject, "Tomorrow's lesson will cover more advanced flying topics, things like close-quarters maneuvering, navigation, collision avoidance, transonic and supersonic flight, and avoiding radar and shock waves."
"Kei-sama, when did you learn how to fly like that?" I asked. We were all calling him Kei-sama; it seemed to be the correct blend of respect and intimacy.
"This morning," he answered, "I never needed to know how before."
I was astonished. "What? You woke up not knowing how to fly, and by afternoon you can teach it like an expert?"
"That's right. What do you think I do all morning? I choose a topic, figure out how to do it, and then decide how to teach it. In effect, I make it up as I go along."
I couldn't believe this. "You make it up as you go along. Are you comfortable with that? Seven weeks ago you were worried stiff about not being ready for this responsibility, and now you're just winging it?" I giggled as I realized just how appropriate the phrase "winging it" was.
"No, I'm not comfortable with it," he responded with a broad grin, "I relish it, I revel in it, I love it! I wish I could do this forever, and there's a good chance that I can do exactly that. This is what I was born for, why should I fear it?"
Authors Note: C & C welcome." Be gentle it's only my second time. I'd like to acknowledge the following fanfic authors, whose work has entertained and inspired me: Ed Sharpe for "No Mere Mortal," Brett Handy for "Oh My God!" Sean Gaffney for "Proposal/Wedding/Honeymoon," and Fred Herriot for "A Remarkable Destiny."
How many of you know that our planet is (in English) named after Urd? In Old Norse, the last letter of her name was the now-obsolete "thorn" character, which was pronounced "dth." Her name was originally pronounced "Urdth," and she is indeed older than Veredthandi and Skuld, who came along later.