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.
In hindsight, Hayate reflected long after the fact, he probably shouldn’t have been so obvious. Flying over the town like that could have caused some major problems. Ordinary people tended to be extremely panicky creatures, and seeing a strange man in equally strange clothes could have potentially incited that panic. But fortunately, there was neither panic nor terror in the streets. New York, Tokyo, and Paris did not burn.
In that respect, all was well.
But Hayate was himself
in a state of total, complete, utter panic. That was why he took to the skies. He had to hurry. He had to get there as fast as possible, before it was too late.
Finally, he spotted a place fit for a landing—an alleyway, nestled between two tall buildings. It provided him plenty of cover to get his feet back on the ground. A quick flare of magic was all it took to change from the Leafe Knight of Wind back to the jeans, dark shirt, and long coat of a normal person, your everyday Joe just out for a walk. Under normal circumstances, nobody would have given him a second glance in a crowd, save for his long hair.
But now, people noticed him as they stepped out of his way to let him pass. He was obviously in a big hurry, tearing down the sidewalk as fast as his legs would carry him. A few people made muttered comments about manners, or questioning where he was off to in such a mad dash. But he didn’t stop.
He burst through the hospital’s front doors and rushed to the front desk. A few questions to the nurse there told him absolutely nothing, and he begrudgingly retreated to the waiting room to sit and brood and…well, wait.
He sat down in a rather uncomfortable chair with stiff blue cushions, still panting from his mad dash to the hospital. It didn’t seem right that he had gone the speed of light to get here, only to find out that he now had to sit and wait with as much patience as he could muster.
Hayate was not good at waiting. Not at all.
But finally, the doors swung open.
When a nurse appeared in that doorway and asked for her family, he was in front of her in a heartbeat, demanding answers. He listened to her words impatiently before finally getting to the important thing, the information he really wanted at that moment: where the hell was she?
He dashed past the nurse the minute he had the room number and sprinted down the hall, checking numbers left and right, searching in desperation for the right one. Finally, the number he’d been searching for appeared and he veered hard right…and crashed into the door.
“Note to self…” he murmured, fumbling to actually get the door open. “Slow down.”
Finally getting the rebellious door to bow to his whim, he staggered into the hospital room. Belatedly, it occurred to him to check his nose and make sure that it was not broken. A quick self-examination with his fingers proved that it was still in one piece. Now satisfied, he finished his journey by moving to stand beside the hospital bed.
Himeno watched him with a smile. She looked exhausted, but extremely pleased, and vaguely entertained at his unintentional antics. “Nice to see you,” she said softly, reclining against the pillows.
He reached out without hesitation and touched her hair. “Are you all right?”
“Absolutely,” she nodded. “Sorry if I worried you, but they wouldn’t let me wait for you to get here before they wheeled me in. So how fast did you have to go to get here?”
Hayate winced. “I was on an errand for your dad, they called just after I left. So I didn’t get the message until I got back forty-five minutes later! I panicked, and I was in a hurry, so let’s just say that I might
have broken a couple of rules,” he said in a rush.
“You flew over the town to get here, didn’t you?”
“I won’t tell Kei, if that helps,” she winked at him.
“Thanks…” he cleared his throat. “So…”
She sat up with a bit of effort and looked down at what seemed a small bundle of bedding in her arms. “I think there’s someone you should meet.” She offered him the aforementioned blanket.
Swallowing hard, he accepted the bundle, holding it as gingerly as possible. A tiny brush of the hand was all it took to move the corner of the blanket aside and expose the slumbering face of a very, very tiny person, tucked into the blanket’s warm recesses.
“A girl,” Himeno said softly, her smile never faltering. “I think she’ll have your eyes…”
Hayate continued to stare for a long moment before he finally turned back to Himeno. She looked so very tired, and yet so satisfied and utterly, utterly proud of herself. He wished he had been there to help her through it, but he really had gotten there as fast as he could.
“Does everyone else know?” she asked suddenly.
“The rest of them will be here soon,” he replied. “Your family is already on their way, I think. Takako was at the house with your mother—she said she would tell the rest of the Knights, and you know they’ll get here as soon as they can.”
“Good…” Himeno nodded.
He sat on the edge of her bed, the bundle possessively clutched to his chest. “I’m sorry I was so late,” he murmured softly, finally returning her smile. “I promise I’ll be here for the next one.”
Himeno said nothing, merely sighing happily. And still carefully cradling his beautiful newborn daughter in his arms, Hayate leaned down to give his wife a kiss.PS. Short and sweet. Hope y’all liked it. Much love!