2 Stein: The Strongest Technician
"Well then," stated Eddy. "What're we waitin for?" and he took a step towards the house.
He stopped abruptly when the doors swung open. There was the slight sound of a rolling chair, and everyone tensed.
"This is the one that raised Sid?" Edd asked. "Something so powerful as to raise the dead?"
"That's what the textbooks say."
"So what can we do against someone like him if we only managed to capture Sid there by a fluke?" he motioned to Sid, who was still tied and sat cross-legged on the ground.
No one answered. The rolling grew louder until a rolling chair came into view out of the darkness, rushing towards the door at a ludicrous speed. It caught on the doorway, and it tumbled down, its passenger with it. He yelped as he stumbled over, not even making an effort to recover. His head hit the ground with a thump.
"That's Stein?" Eddy asked.
Stein got up and swept the dust off his rear, before resetting his chair.
"Damn, something felt wrong," he sat on his chair and began to turn the screw in his head till it gave a loud click. "Okay, hang on, lemme go back and try again," and he dragged his chair back in.
"Oi," Soul stammered. "Ain't someone gonna stop him?"
"I still don't know what he's like I wanna see," Maka replied.
The rolling noise started up again. Again Stein appeared at the doorway, rolling on his chair. Again it caught on the doorway. Again he fell to the ground.
"Again. That's Stein?" Eddy asked.
"He's not as 'foreboding' as I pictured him." Edd said weakly.
"This guy's a nut." Soul and Back Star said simultaneously.
Stein didn't even bother getting up from his prone position on the floor. "So what can I do for you?"
"You are Stein?" Eddy asked again in the same incredulous tone.
Maka got over her initial surprise. "Was it you who attacked Sid?"
Stein got up and sat on hi chair, his chin resting on the backrest. "Is that what this is about? You're Shibusen students right?"
"Yeah, so why attack us? Do you hold a grudge or something?"
Stein didn't even move, staring at them through half drooped eyes. "Not really. For me there's only research and observation. That's all there is for me. Everything is research material in this world, I included," He said in a low voice.
Maka fidgeted. She leaned over and whispered. "Soul you feel weird?"
Eddy butted in. "You mean like how it feels like he's undressing me with his eyes? Yes."
"I feel so violated." Moaned Edd, covering his groin with his hands.
"I feel pretty." Ed said happily.
Stein chuckled. "The soul wavelength between you clowns is so different," he looked at the Eds. "But they all are in perfect harmony with each other, and the same is for you weapons," he smiled. "I have a wonderful experiment in mind when I have the time to test you."
He turned to Maka. "The souls between the two of you are very much the same. Exact opposites, but you both compensate for each other. Not in such a complex way as those fine specimens," he motioned to the Eds, who flinched. "But still very test-worthy."
Soul growled, baring his shark-lie teeth. "You can see the souls of the living?"
"And to be able to tell the souls' nature. He really is one of the best."
"AH SHADDUP!" yelled Black Star, who during this brief period climbed onto Stein's roof. "YAHOO! I'M GONNA END THIS DULL CONVERSATION ABOUT NOBODIES! AND FOCUS IT ON ME!" he declared.
"When did he do that?" Eddy asked.
Black Star held out a hand. "It doesn't matter if you can see my soul or not. I couldn't care less," he jumped down from the roof and landed to the side of Stein, who hadn't even moved. "As long as I see mine, nothing else matters!
"Well that was kinda pointless. Why go all the way up there, if you're just gonna jump down again?"
Stein laughed at Eddy's comment. "Yes, he is indeed amazing. A very self confident soul," He started to twist the screw on his head again. "Not many could keep up with that."
Black Star lunged and went for a roundhouse kick. Stein blocked with his wrist and used the inertia to spin around and block a second kick. Just as Black Star landed, Stein was after him, rolling his chair along at a breakneck pace, and delivered a punch right on Black Star's chin.
"Black Star!" Tsubaki cried out.
Stein turned. "Oh, I see now. You're his partner. A highly cooperative personality being able to accept near anyone. You match his soul perfectly."
Wukong stopped scratching his scar. "Okay now. This is freaking me out."
Stein smiled warmly. "I have collected enough data now. Shall we begin the experiment?"
The Chupacabras was a blaze with its neon lights as usual, and it was filled with the raucous laughter of its best customer. Mr. Death Scythe or Papa-san as the girls called him.
"We run out of sake!" he cackled.
The girl assigned to him was a cheerful, innocent looking girl that laughed along with him, her long purple hair curled at its end and the top crested into cat ears. Her yellow eyes glowed with admiration, so genuine looking, no one could tell if it was real or acted. "My, papa-san can pack it away! One moment." She said. She held out a finger and pointed at a chilled bottle of sake. "Pump-pumpkin-pumpkin!" and the bottle lifted into the air and poured itself into Papa's glass.
"This is just you're third day working here right Blair?" he asked the girl. "You fit in here already, it's amazing."
"Thank you!" she mewled. "Papa-san. You just came from school yes? How's your daughter?"
Papa-san's demeanor instantly shifted from happy, to devastated. "Nya?" Blair said almost as an afterthought.
Papa-san turned away from Blair. "She ignored me again today," He sobbed, and curled into a ball, "No matter what I do, she always hates me."
"These sort of days never happened since I was Stein's partner."
Maka swung Soul around, aiming for Stein's head, but Stein kicked the floor, and his chair wheeled out of every swing. Ed tried using his usual method of throwing his weight into a punch, but Stein simply used his inertia to send him barreling into Edd, stunning him. Maka spun around and tried to swing at him again.
"Scythe Technician Maka," he began. He planted his feet on Soul, and pushed with a force that sent his chair rolling right into Black Star. He began to twist the screw in his head again. "Could you repeat that?"
Eddy swung his chain whip about and hurled it at Stein. He side-'rolled' to one side, grabbed the chain and pulled hard. Eddy lost his balance and Stein pulled even harder, and Eddy fell over, landing face first in the cement. "Augh! My nose, you jerk!"
"Maka," Stein continued. "I think I heard that name from somewhere before," it suddenly came to him. "Ah, your Spirit's daughter right?"
"Spirit?" Soul asked.
"My dad's name before he became a Death scythe," Maka explained. "But what does he have to do with anything."
Stein rested his head on a hand, a look of nostalgia on his face. "I can still remember his sleeping face."
Spirit was hunched over, not really just depression, but cold fear. "The day's I spent with Stein were utter horror," he sobbed. "Every night when I was asleep, he'd-he'd… experiment on my body! For five whole years!" he sobbed and hid his face in the couch.
The joy girl to his right recoiled in surprise. "And you never even felt it?!"
Blair gaped in awe. "Wow, papa-san is quite thick isn't he?"
"I'd always wake up each day with wounds I wouldn't remember receiving!" Spirit cried. "If not for my ex-wife I never would have even realized what was happening!"
"Yeah…those were the days," Stein sighed. "And you are the daughter of the woman that stole my little guinea pig. Now I wanna dissect you."
"Okay lights out Weirdo Mc Nutjob!" Eddy yelled and lashed out his whip, not aiming for Stein, but his chair, and pulled it out from under him.
Stein looked up at the sky for a moment. "Very funny kid. Nice improvisation," he turned his gaze to Eddy. "I'll enjoy studying you."
Eddy braced himself, but instead, Stein twirled around and made for Maka.
"Maka, he's only using his fist-" Soul began up until Stein's palm made contact with his pole. There was a jolt of electricity, and Maka fell backwards, barely catching herself. "What was that?"
"Did he just do what I think he did?" Kid stammered.
"Yeah," Shinigami answered. "Most technicians need to have a matching soul wavelength with a weapon, and then transfer that wavelength through the weapon to cause damage. The weapon serves to amplify their wavelength to the point where it can actually damage their target, but Stein can easily do that without one." He finished with a high note.
"It's hard to imagine what he'd do with weapon." Kid breathed, he continued to watch the battle through the mirror, but now a lot more attention was directed at Stein.
With a click Stein finished tightening the screw in his head. Eddy didn't wait and lashed out again. This time, it wrapped around Stein, and Eddy smiled triumphantly. It quickly dissipated when Stein appeared to be unharmed by the bladed chains that surrounded him. Stein grabbed the chain and pulled Eddy in with a massive force. Eddy stubbornly refused to lift off and returned the pull. Stein suddenly stopped resisting, and Eddy was caught by surprise as Stein came flying towards him. He only had a moment before Stein's palm impacted in his face, and Eddy fell to the ground motionless, the whip still stubbornly gripped in his hands. Maka stared in horror as Stein was unrolling the chains off of himself. She screamed and began to swing blindly at him.
"Maka what are you doing?!" Soul exclaimed.
Maka gave no sign of hearing him and continued to swing wildly. Stein threw out his palm again and a shock passed through Soul. "You idiot!" Soul managed to grunt, and his reflection began coughing blood.
Stein grabbed Maka by one of her pigtails and pulled her up, and then holding her by the neck while he lifted her shirt. "Where shall I cut first?" he inquired to himself, taking out a black marker. He drew a line across her stomach. "Maybe start here."
"You bastard! Don't you dare forget about me!" yelled Black Star and he rushed up from behind. "You're not the only one who can tap into his wavelength!"
"Hm?" Stein looked up from his prize and caught a glimpse of Black Star.
Black Star Big Wave! And an elbow was rammed into his back, and Black Star sent his wavelength into the blow.
Stein dropped Maka, and Soul gaped. "How'd he do that?"
"As expected. Black Star always was a prodigy when it came to mastering and manipulating his wavelength. However, now he faces a different opponent…"
Stein should have dropped to the floor already. But instead he was giggling. Black Star pulled away cautiously. "So many surprises," Stein said. "Shinigami sent me so many interesting subjects to dissect."
Black Star gaped dumbfounded. "He countered?"
Stein began to twist the screw on his head again. "I looked at your soul ahead of time. Once I know a soul wavelength, I can match mine to it, and any attacks by that wavelength will have no effect," he turned to face Black Star. "Back there, it was exactly the same like we were partners."
"He can do that?!" Kid exclaimed, rising from his chair.
Shinigami didn't even face him, his mask hiding all expression. "A soul with high levels of observation, correspondence, and compatibility can do that, and those are Stein's strongest points."
"And now…" Stein reached out as if to grab Back Star, but stopped by his head. Then what looked like a current of electricity passed between his hands, going through Black Star who screeched in pain.
"Black Star!" everyone yelled at once.
In just below a minute Stein stopped. Blood streamed out of Black Star's eyes, nose and mouth. He teetered for a moment, and then fell over, blood splattering on the pavement.
Stein looked about. "Let's see now." He counted off those he had already incapacitated. Edd, Cutter, Eddy, Wukong, and Black Star. Wait. One was missing.
Stein didn't even turn to face Ed. He just stuck out his hand, grasped Ed by the face, and sent a surge that seemed to be a hundred fold more powerful than the attack he did with Black Star. Ed topped over without a sound. "There we go." He smiled and went back to turning the screw on his head.
Kid got up. "I can't just sit and watch anymore." He said with finality. "Liz, Patty. Let's go."
"Now wait right there Kid!" Shinigami turned. "Those kids are taking supplementary lessons. Besides you're not a Shibusen student. You can't interfere."
"Then make me a student." Kid replied, looking over his shoulder. "Put my name on the student list won't you father?"
"Wait a minute you guys!" Shinigami started, but none of them listened. "Oh dear. They'll only complicate things even further."
Tsubaki covered her mouth in horror at the turn of events.
"Tsubaki," Sid said behind her. "Go ahead and run to him. I won't try to escape. That's the kinda guy I was."
Soul glared at Stein. "You bastard…Maka let's do it!"
Maka instead curled up and began muttering to herself. "Maka!"
"I-I saw his soul…It's massive. It's too high!"
"Maka get up!"
Maka instead got on all fours. "There's no way we can win. It's impossible."
Kid was on all fours. "It's impossible. Let me die."
"Not again," sighed Liz, as her sister just laughed at Kid. She leaned over to Kid.
"I think I might have forgotten to fold the corner of the toilet paper into a triangle before I left the bathroom!"
"Yeah you think. That doesn't mean it actually happened. Odds are you did and you just forgot"
"He started again. He started again!" Patty cackled.
"You know if we don't go now, Stein may kill them. Don't you think toilet paper is a tad ridiculous?"
Kid flopped onto the floor, sprawled out like a corpse. "Ridiculous?! If I can't even fold the toilet paper correctly then how can I even call myself a savior? They'd just leer at me and tell me to leave! I'd never be able to show my face again!" he cried.
"No, of course that won't happen!" Liz reassured him as best she could. "They'll welcome us with smiles... I doubt they even care about toilet paper. Look how about we go check the bathroom and then rush over and save them?"
"No." Kid managed to mutter.
"If I go check and find I really didn't fold the paper properly, then what will I do? My life will be over."
"It already is!" Liz screeched. Patty, as unhelpful as ever, was rolling on the floor at this point, clutching her sides.
"What are you doing Maka?! Get up!"
Maka batted Soul's arm away. "Don't you get it?! Didn't you see how easily he beat everyone else?! I saw what his soul looks like! Our chances of winning are zero! Do you get it?! ZERO!"
Soul was taken aback for a moment. But then his anger came back tenfold. "Who the hell cares?! It's just a soul! It's not like that was the future! Get up and fight!" he shook Maka. "Look up at me!" Maka slowly opened her eyes and peered up at him.
"Look at him, waiting for us to throw the first punch. Nice guy."
Maka slowly smiled. Soul returned it.
"Okay, let's do this the cool way!"
"Sorry for making you wait Soul," Maka said getting up.
"Alright," and soul reformed into his scythe form.
"That again?!" Edd grunted as he struggled to get up. "Better get out of the way." And he started to crawl as fast as his numb limbs would let him.
Stein continued to smoke his cigarette as the resonance grew. "Looks like your good at this already. Now come here! Show me how good!"
Witch Hunting! And Maka swung her scythe around into Stein's head. Stein caught it in his hands effortlessly, just a hairsbreadth from his nose. "You have real good control. But it's still too early!" he declared and he shattered the phantom blade. The feedback hit Maka and Soul like a head on collision, and both lay sprawled several feet away from Stein. Maka was gasping for air, unable to move any part of her body as Stein closed in on his prey. Soul reformed and jumped over Maka. "You'll have to get through me first freak!"
"Well then. I'll start with you." Stein smiled as his hand descended to Soul. He grunted, expecting a sharp pain. Instead it was a soft pat on the head. "I'll give you guys a passing grade."
"This concludes the supplementary lessons." Stein said using Shinigami's musical tone. Soul looked up.
"Protecting your technician with your own body. That was awful nice of you."
Soul pulled himself up slightly. "I'm gonna say it again. Huh?"
"You don't get it? I was asked to give you these lessons by Shinigami."
"But you killed Black Star and Ed!"
Black Star lifted his head from Tsubaki's lap. "You say some funny stuff." He grunted.
"But what about Ed?!"
"I have the dopiest feeling in my head." Ed said. Soul turned to see Ed stumbling on his feet groggily.
"We're all alive, so no need to panic." Eddy reassured, as he leaned against a wall for support.
Soul gaped at them.
"Then what about Sid?!"
Sid smiled and shrugged. At some point he got out of his chains and was standing right next to Stein. "Sorry you guys. Normally I'm not the kinda guy to fool people in life, but that applied to when I was alive."
"You gotta be kidding me!" Soul yelled. "What's with this whole get up?!"
Maka's eyes welled up again. "I can't believe it. I just can't."
Shinigami chuckled at the scene in his mirror. "But you did grow stronger didn't you?"
Stein pushed his ruined glasses further up his nose. "And pushing you runts around was real amusing." He mused in the most hedonistic voice he had.
"He really is a sadist!" Cutter recoiled, back in her human form, holding Edd over her shoulder.
Stein spun got back on his chair and spun around "Well you must all be tired, how about you spend the night at my place?"
"PASS!" everyone yelled as loud as they could.
The sun was laughing as it always had the next morning. Another day at Shibusen. But everyone was out of their game. Soul groaned loudly. Edd suddenly sprang awake, clutching at his hat, a bit of spittle hanging out the side of his mouth.
"Ugh. I'm wiped after yesterday's lesson," Soul turned to Eddy. "What about you Eddy? Eddy?"
Eddy opened his eyes slowly. "Yeah I did no like the lesson with the…"exhaustion addling his speech. "I no like lesson with the lesson and the crazy doctor man with the Franken stitch."
"Huh?" Wukong asked pulling the book off his eyes.
Maka was in a rut. "I had a dream last night of him experimenting on me…"
Cutter looked over. "And to make matters worse our class got a permanent teacher now. What happens if it's your dad?" she asked Maka.
"Mercy please! I don't wanna think about it."
As if on cue, they heard a familiar rolling sound coming down the hallway. And a familiar chair tripped over the doorway, and a familiar passenger yelped as he tumbled over. The chair spun about on the waxed floor, and slid to the middle of the classroom before stopping. Its occupant didn't even get up as he opened a book he held under his arm, looking up from the floor. "Right," Stein said. "Let class begin."
"You have to be kidding me!" Cutter moaned.
"Oh dear. I fear my life will be in greater peril now."
Black Star sneered at Stein, who was twisting the screw on his head. "He's getting all the attention on him." Tsubaki laughed weakly.
"Hey it's the funny doctor man!" Ed exclaimed.
Eddy opened his eyes a crack then closed them again. "I know I'm dreaming. Any moment now, I'll wake up screaming. Any moment now."
Eddy picked up a book and began hitting his head. "Any. Minute. Now. I. Will. Wake. Up."
Stein stopped twisting his screw and it ended with a loud click.
"Cut it out you ain't dreaming now." Wukong said as he grabbed Eddy's book and placed it over his eyes again.