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.
Simply put, Mannen was going to die.
Hayate had explained to the young Leafe Knight that he had every intention of sending him on a little vacation (all expenses paid) to the Haunted Forest of Horrible Painful Agonizing Death.
Shin, nearby, had immediately said that it was a funny name for a forest, what did it mean?
But the point was that Mannen had a date with destruction.
…after he figured out how in the world he was going to get the thin circle of metal from around his wrist. More importantly, the thin metal circle currently encircling his wrist was linked to a chain, which was linked to another thin circle of metal…around Himeno’s
Mannen was going to die.
After he removed the handcuffs, that is. Hell, Hayate wasn’t even sure exactly how Mannen had managed to sneak up on them and cuff them together in the first place. The kid wasn’t exactly known for his ability to be quiet and sneak around…
Needless to say, the Leafe Knight of Ice wasn’t in any way eager to oblige. Instead, he merely cackled and flashed that smug little smirk (that Hayate oh-so-badly wanted to wipe right off of his face…), and informed them that these handcuffs were not just ordinary handcuffs—they had been forged in Leafenia, and imbued with a certain magical property. In other words…
“I can’t unlock them,” Mannen informed them cheekily. “You guys have to.”
“And how in the world would we do that?” Himeno asked, holding her arm up and gesturing towards the offending bracelet. She ignored the fact that her companion’s hand was forced to move around in sync with hers, due to the length of chain connecting them.
“Can’t tell you,” he beamed, scampering off. “But I promise you’ll like it once you figure it out! Should help you guys out with something you’re long overdue for!!”
And they were left with the mystery of the handcuffs.
Which, they had just noticed, didn’t even have a keyhole on them…*****
“Geez, when he said these were magical, he wasn’t kidding,” Himeno commented dryly.
Hayate grunted something that sounded vaguely like a reply.
Sighing at his lack of responsiveness, she leaned forward, putting her chin in her free hand and watched passively. “I get the feeling that this isn’t going to work. Maybe we should try something else?”
He straightened with a huff. “I think you’re right,” he looked forlornly at the hacksaw in his hand. He had borrowed it from Kaoru’s workshop to try and saw through the chain, but it just wasn’t working.
“Do we have any other ideas?” Himeno asked calmly.*****
“I don’t get it,” Himeno huffed. “If they’re magic handcuffs, then magic should work on them, right? I mean, that makes sense, doesn’t it?”
She watched as Hayate tried various attacks with his magic on the offending chain. Her eyes followed the attacks somewhat warily, though. That was her hand and her wrist that was in the line of fire, thank you very much! Fortunately, Hayate had excellent aim, and gave her no reason to practice martial arts and discipline him.
But in a bizarre twist, the chain actually seemed to be absorbing the magical attacks. They simply melded into the metal links, and nothing more was heard of them. For a while, anyway.
Then, like a boomerang coming back, the magic gushed out at Hayate all at once, knocking him backwards a full ten feet to land flat on his back on the floor of Kaoru’s workshop. And poor Himeno, still linked to him at the wrist, joined him in his rather spontaneous flight; he found himself twisting to try and break her fall as much as possible.
Hayate propped himself up on his elbows—and found himself staring straight into Himeno’s eyes, their noses less than an inch apart. He had broken her fall, all right—she had landed right on top of him. And she was now watching him with wide, ruby-colored eyes from her mildly-precarious perch, sprawled across his chest.
Hayate blushed. A lot. “Ah…sorry about that.” He cleared his throat noisily, and did his best to help her to her feet, what with their wrists still stuck together and all. Hayate was nothing if not a gentleman—especially where Himeno was concerned.
She accepted the proffered help silently, gracing him with a smile that pretty much erased all remaining conscious thought. How did she do that, anyway?*****
“What would happen if we were to pret like this?” Himeno commented offhandedly.
And before she knew it, Hayate had grabbed her hand. “Let’s find out.”
There was a flare of rainbow-colored light as they were surrounded by Leafe. In a ritual that was basic habit for them by now, Hayate’s form changed to energy, and she accepted that energy into her body, letting it fill her and merge with her, and my God, this sounds so horribly hentai…
Deal with it.
After a moment, the light faded, revealing the blue and white-clad form of the Pretear of Wind.
Himeno looked down—and frowned. “Umm…Hayate?”“Yeah, I know…”
he replied from inside her mind.
Holding up her white-gloved hands—both of which were now shackled together at the wrist. She tugged on them experimentally; they wouldn’t move any further apart than the few inches of chain would permit. “Yeah…definitely out of the frying pan and into the fire.” She sighed. “Let’s un-pret and try something else. I want to be able to move my arms.”*****
“Hayate—I. Said. No.”
Somewhat begrudgingly, he lowered the chainsaw. “I’m sure this would’ve worked, too…”*****
“What could we possibly be overdue for that handcuffs would help us out with?” Himeno lamented aloud, putting her chin in her unbound hand and sighing. They were sitting out in the massive Awayuki gardens, near the enormous wind chime that was one of the Leafe Knights favorite hangouts.
Hayate did not respond. He was busy trying to rein in his imagination, and failing spectacularly.
Himeno remained blissfully oblivious, which was probably for the best. Had she noticed, chances were that she would have broken both of his arms. Clean off. And walked away with his dismantled limb still swinging from the handcuff, only to belatedly realize what she had done and freak out.
But she had a point—what in the world would make these stupid handcuffs come off?
“Something that we’re overdue for…and being stuck together would help us accomplish it…” Hayate mused out loud, adopting a pose similar to hers.
Until she stood up suddenly, and he was rather abruptly dragged along for the ride.
“Would you be a little more careful, please?” he chastised gently, massaging his shoulder.
“Hayate?” she said quietly.
He turned curiously to look at her full-on, and was startled to see that she was blushing. But her eyes had that Look to them. That determined glare that could have made a demon-larvae freeze in its tracks. That oh-so-dangerous gleam that probably would have made even Fenrir hesitate. And he was the one pinned beneath its weight…
Until she moved. She stepped towards him, and quickly, briefly, she rose up onto her tiptoes and pressed her lips against his.
She would have pulled back, if he had let her. Which he didn’t. Not by a long shot.Click.
With the faintest of noises, the handcuffs unlocked themselves, slid off their wrists, and fell to the ground with a soft clatter. Not that they really cared at that point.
In fact, neither of them noticed that they were free for quite a while.PS. I heart fluff-stuff, what can I say? Plus, the image of Hayate holding a chainsaw, ready to attack a pair of handcuffs, just makes me giggle to no end. This is a bit more on the “short and silly” side of Sears, but I hope you all enjoyed it nonetheless. Thanks again, everyone!!!