Pairing: Awayuki Himeno/Hayate
Disclaimer: All characters are the property of Kaori Naruse. I claim none, I merely borrow them and take them to yummy shoes sales and put them through the horror of finding the perfect strappy sandal.
Summary: If there is a miracle called love…
He jumped a mile at the sound of his name, even though he’d really been waiting for her to seek him out. Still, to know that it was time for the Talk—not fun. The Talk, which included such wonderful moments as the Burning Blush, the Pointed Question, the Incoherent Stammering, and the Awkward Silence. Absolutely lovely.
Still, he stood his ground and turned to face her with some trepidation. To see her up and moving around again…it warmed him. It meant that she was alive. An hour ago she’d been the White Pretear of legend, beaten the Tree of Fenrir…and lay dead amidst flowers that the ground itself had grown forth in mourning of the heroine.
He had finally admitted his feelings to her in death.
He had kissed her.
And she had opened her eyes and smiled.
She had been wearing the white-pink dress and tiara of the legendary Pretear then.
Now she was just…Himeno, wearing that red, blue, and yellow ensemble she was particularly fond of. She looked healthy and whole, if still a bit pale. From her positioning, he guessed that she had stepped out of the archway he had just strolled past; one of her hands rested comfortably on the wicker frame. She was watching him with kind eyes and a gentle smile.
“Found you,” she said softly, stepping the rest of the way through the arch and sidling up to take a seat on the basin of the fountain. This was the one corner of the gardens that hadn’t been completely destroyed by Fenrir’s onslaught; she’d followed him all the way out here. “I was looking for you. But you ran off.” She raised an eyebrow at him, still smiling. “You’re hard to track down, you know that?”
He didn’t say anything. He couldn’t think of anything to say.
Himeno gestured at the stone fountain basin beside her. “Sit. Please.”
Hayate couldn’t have refused that simple request if the fate of the world had depended on it. Obediently, he found himself dropping to sit next to her. The stone was sun-warmed to comfortable level. He coughed quietly to clear his throat, then finally looked directly at her, concerned. “Are you all right?”
“I actually feel fine. I’m just really tired,” she said with a careless shrug, unaware that she was affirming his earlier thought that she still looked so pale, far more than usual. “But mostly I’m just happy that everyone’s all right and alive.” She glanced back over her shoulder towards the wreckage that had once been the massive Awayuki mansion. “The house, on the other hand…well, houses can be rebuilt, I suppose. That’s not a big deal. It’ll just take time.”
“How is your family?” he prodded, genuinely concerned.
“They’re all right,” Himeno’s smile softened even a bit more as she thought of them. “I think there’s some serious talking going on right now. I know I had quite a chat with my father…” Her eyes grew distant. “He wasn’t very happy about the whole thing.”
“He thought he was going to lose you. All of us did. None of us took it well—you scared us all to death!” Hayate blurted, not wasting a single precious second on something as trivial as thinking before opening his mouth.
Himeno looked up at him in surprise…and then smiled again, that infernal little smile that seemed to know everything, and hid all the secrets of the world. He’d never seen her give that smile to anyone else. It was pleasing, to think that she reserved that smile for him.
“I think Kei’s talking to him now,” she said. “If anybody can talk some sense into Dad and calm him down, Kei can. He’s good at that.” She leaned her hands back against the edge of the basin and tilted her head back to look up at the blue sky. “I think the other Knights are finally introducing themselves to the family. Poor Tanaka—the kids were giving him so much trouble…”
Hayate actually chuckled a little at that image, as well as all the other news she’d told him. Things were okay now—or if they weren’t, they were well on their way to being okay. It was a start.
“Speaking of the kids…”
“Hayate,” she said, catching his gaze and holding it, “Mannen told me that you…”
He held his breath. Here it came…
The axe fell…though it hit a bit more gently than he’d anticipated. He’d almost been expecting her to deck him, really. Meanwhile, a flock of butterflies had erupted in his stomach.
“While I was…out,” she said delicately. “And it actually woke me up. Is that true?”
He swallowed hard and looked away, feeling his face turn as red as Goh’s jacket. “Yes…” Suddenly, he felt like scum. The first time they’d met, she had accused him of being a pervert. Suddenly, he felt like one. Taking advantage of her…even though he’d thought she was gone forever.
“Would you tell me why?” she asked, reaching over with one hand to tug on his sleeve.
“Well, I…” Hayate started, then faltered and cleared his throat. “That is to say…” The butterflies twirling around his insides grew and morphed into twittering hummingbirds.
Gentle fingers touched his enflamed cheek, applying just enough pressure to force him to turn his head and look right at her. Her hand felt so cool against the heat of his blush…he swallowed hard and didn’t permit himself to look away this time. But now he realized just how close they were—almost close enough for them to…
The hummingbirds grew into chickens.
She didn’t seem nervous at all; her expression was serene. “Hayate,” she said his name once, the barest hint of a whisper, before she leaned in and up to close the distance between them and brush her lips against his in a feather-light kiss.
The chickens pecking at him sprouted into vultures.
Fenrir probably could have shot up behind him and attacked, and he wouldn’t have noticed. He was more focused on the fact that Himeno. Had. Just. Kissed. Him. She pulled back right away, looking up at him with calm, crimson eyes—that look should be illegal, he decided. But then she kissed him again, with a bit more confidence this time.
The vultures in Hayate’s stomach screeched, flopped over, and died.
And Hayate couldn’t have cared less.
Suddenly he was on his feet, his hands clutching at her upper arms to pull her along with him. She didn’t resist, but rather slid her arms up through his loosened grip to wrap around his neck and hold on. He was a good deal taller than her, and so he had to stoop a good deal to snake his own arms around her waist, though she rose up onto her tiptoes to meet him further.
When he’d kissed her before—when he was convinced he had lost her forever—he’d felt his heart breaking further, knowing that it was the first, last, and only time he would do so. She didn’t know he loved her; she didn’t know he kissed her. She couldn’t kiss him back or return his feelings…
Himeno was the one kissing him now. This was her choice, her action, because it was what she wanted. Those were Himeno’s fingers tangled in his hair, and her lips holding his possessively in a way that left absolutely no doubt as to her feelings or her desires. It was definitely nicer when both parties were awake, involved, and finally willing to admit…
The wind lifted, rising from the ground all the way up to the cerulean blue of the sky to carry a storm of leaves and flower petals in a swirl of color and sound. Standing amidst it all, Hayate and Himeno clung to each other in true love’s second kiss.
Never let your smile disappear.
She broke away to lean back and look up at him, into the intensity of his dark blue gaze. When she'd kissed him, she had been expecting any number of things. Top of her list was definitely him blushing, freaking out, and running away at top speed. There was no way...under no circumstances had she expected him to respond so enthusiastically, almost literally sweeping her off her feet; her toes were barely touching the ground anymore.
She'd expected embarrassment. Instead, she got that kind of passion.
“Hayate…” she whispered breathlessly. "I love you..."
He didn’t answer verbally—he merely pulled her close and gave a silent answer. A reaffirmation of what she already knew.
Never let me go.
PS. And so it ends. On shameless fluff, no less. With this, I conclude the challenge. Thirty themes, and thirty fics. Thank you a thousand times over to everyone who has taken the time to read and comment on my little stories, be it on LJ or on I sincerely hope you enjoyed my 30 Kisses for Hayate and Himeno. And now…I’m going to kick off my summer the right way by heading off to Europe for a week. Much love, everyone. Ciao!
*Candy-chan happily bounces off into the sunset, waving her passport wildly in the air and screaming “BONZAI!” at the top of her lungs while small children flee in terror*