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Chapter 21- Saving the 'Fairy' Agent:
It was time. There was no denying it now. The evaluation was finished despite the ceremony for the new agent. Now, it was time for Max to face her fate. She took it in stride, standing tall with her eyes lowered and chin high.
Like most agents who went through demotion, Max was topless so that her wings could fully be stretched out. She wore only black shorts and a small red ribbon as a belt. It was a demotion ceremony- the red ribbon was a symbol for a failed mission as a red wisp of magic was the sign of a completed one.
The High Ups were at the end of the aisle, with their wings also tucked behind them, but visible- a sign of shame and disappoint. Their eyes showed sadness as they never wished pain among any of their agents- yet punishment had to be given. Beside the High Ups was… No one. Normally it would be a close Superior of the demoted one, but Drew was on an assignment and Nikki was gone. Max was alone in more ways than one.
On the side of the aisle stood other agents and a few deskies- all saluting at the High Ups, but their eyes were on Max. She strut down the aisle and only thing that was going through her mind was that… she would never see Tetsuya again. It broke her heart.
Nikki led the group through HQ nervously. Ritsu was able to calm her down by holding her hand. It took a while and when the Superior at the door had questioned them, Kyoya managed to convince the guy that he was a Japanese Superior and they were all there for to just check in on the American division. While it was a very… holey lie, the Superior still let them through- but the second that he knew that they were lying (which would happen as soon as he would check with the High Ups), then they would be out of there. Still, it got them through the doors and it bought them time to go find Max.
Tamaki, along with the others, was a bit disappointed that everything wasn't very magical- at least not magical looking. Tetsuya looked around, he expected something a bit different, but he supposed that it wasn't too far off from what he was expecting (unlike Tamaki who had imagined a giant building in the sky with agents and everything flying in and out of it). Still, Tetsuya could care less about what it looked like- it didn't matter as long as he saw Max.
Nikki did, of course, warn them that some agents, deskies, or Superiors might be topless for their wings to be spread fully. To her surprise, they were actually pretty good at avoiding looking. Though, she couldn't wait to see Tetsuya's reaction should Max be topless.
"Okay, Tetsuya, Haruhi, twins, Tamaki," Nikki ordered, "Max's dorm should be down that hall to the left and-"
"What do you think you're doing?"
Nikki almost screamed. They all slowly turned in horror- they were caught. Standing in front of them was a man, about a year older than Nikki. He had dark blue hair that was slightly messy and dark gray eyes that were narrowed. His broad chest was bare and behind him was a set of angel/bird wings. His strong arms were crossed over his muscled chest.
Nikki gave a nervous laugh,
"Hahaha… hey Drew…It's not what you think…"
He raised an eyebrow,
"Really? That's a first. Because I thought that you and your friends, who are human, were here to go save Max."
Nikki gave a sheepish smile as she rubbed the back of her neck,
"Okay, so it is what you think…"
"Don't worry," Drew said, "I won't tell. I'll help. You're not the only one who doesn't want to see Max hurt, short stack."
"Not short," Nikki muttered, "You're just a giant."
The plan was to split into groups. Drew would lead the Host Club to Max's dorm- if she wasn't there then they would meet with Nikki, Ritsu, and Tetsuya- all of whom were headed to the Court room.
Nikki looked around, frustrated.
"We're lost," Tetsuya finally said.
"We're not lost," Nikki snapped, "We're just… turned around… not my fault that everything looks the same to me."
Nikki continued to grumble in her crappy and anxious mood. Ritsu placed his hand on her shoulder. Honestly, Ritsu knew that he felt something strong towards Nikki and that she was most likely the one for him. When Nikki failed to calm down, Ritsu looked around slightly before leaning down and landing a small kiss on her lips. At that moment, going unnoticed by everyone, a small little red wisp of magic went from Ritsu to Nikki and then into the air as it disappeared.
Nikki turned bright red and continued to be that color even when Ritsu parted from her. Tetsuya watched them amused,
"Love birds," he chuckled.
Nikki looked at Ritsu and smiled- a way to show him that she didn't mind. There was just no time for them to go over their feelings and they're thoughts at the moment. They had to save Max. We have to…
Screaming filled the halls and a few people winced. For the most part, everyone seemed to ignore. That was, everyone except for the host club, Ritsu, Tetsuya, Drew, and Nikki.
"Max," Drew whispered and he took off.
The Host Club followed him with concerned looks. No one said anything. Just as they reached large doors that were as tall as the ceiling, they ran into Nikki, Ritsu, and Tetsuya. Tetsuya's face was in a scowl and his fists were clenched in anger, yet his eyes showed concern and fear. Ritsu was holding Nikki's hand, both of them looking a bit embarrassed, but concerned for Max.
Drew and Takashi were the first to react at the doors, however. Both of them, in sync, kicked open the door with all their might. The Three High Ups that were assigned to take care of the demotion stood at the end of the aisle, looking shocked at the group. The other agents, deskies, and the few Superiors in the crowd also looked shocked, horrified, annoyed, and a few even looked disgusted.
Yet none of the 'party crashers' were looking at the High Ups or the crowd. Their eyes were all focused on the female at the end of the aisle who was on the ground to her knees, hunched over into a small ball. She wore only short black shorts and her arms that were crossed over her chest. In her small left fist was a small red ribbon. Her pink hair was messier than usual and her eyes were closed tightly with tears streaming down. On her back were small bumps that were bleeding, seemingly endless streams of blood flowed down from the bumps down her back. It was Max.
Tetsuya bit back the many curses on his tongue. Instead, he ran over to her as he took off his jacket. He got down onto his knees as he wrapped the jacket around Max's shoulders and she weakly looked up at him with shock and happiness. One of his arms was around her shoulders as he helped her stand. He didn't even care that she was topless; his only concern was that she would be okay. He slowly helped her walk over to the others.
Drew and Nikki were the ones to go to High Ups, their faces in pure anger. The hosts and Ritsu both looked at Max in sorrow and concern. Before Drew could say anything, a High Up, put his hand up to silence them.
"You disobeyed the rules," the oldest High Up, Gabriel Jackson, started, "Not only did you lie about the memory wipe, but you brought them here."
He turned to Drew,
"And as another Superior, you should've reported her."
Drew's jaw tightened and he gritted his teeth,
"With all due respect sir," Drew growled, "I didn't due to an assignment that went against reporting it… And Max is like a sister."
"We're all family!" Nikki shouted, "So why should she be in pain because of a mistake!"
"When one makes a mistake in their career," Gabriel answered, not fazed in the slightest, "Then your whole career can crumble."
"But this isn't just a career," Nikki argued, "This is a family and family's don't judge other family member's mistakes or actions!"
As Gabriel, Nikki and Drew all bickered. Another High Up- Nancy- dismissed all the other agents, deskies, and Superiors in the room and that the issue would be solved soon so to not worry themselves. She did, however, stop the hosts, Ritsu, Tetsuya, and Max from leaving unnoticed.
She sat them all down in a pew on the right side of the aisle without so much as an explanation, but she did smile kindly at them. Max shivered and bit her lip to cry out from the pain in her back. She wished that someone could do a healing spell so that it would go away- but it they couldn't for several reasons. One being that she was stuck in the Court Room and everyone that could was too busy arguing. The other reason being that it was against the rules. The pain of the demotion must be felt and one must heal on their own. It was part of the punishment and it was supposed to teach someone that his or her actions and mistakes can lead to pain- just like the pain that could be felt from the client of a failed assignment.
Tetsuya held her closer and let her rest her head on his chest as he calmed her. The others dared to not make a single comment as that could make things worse for Nikki and Drew- who were still fighting with the High Ups.
Nancy rubbed her temples in annoyance at all the yelling,
"THAT'S IT," she screeched, "SHUT UP!"
Gabriel, in shock that Nancy yelled, shut his mouth as did Nikki and Drew. Nancy sighed,
"Thank you… Now, Gabriel, Nikki and Drew both have a point. This whole demotion ceremony is pretty harsh and shouldn't be done on a family member."
"Tradition," Nancy finished, "I'm well aware. However, we can discuss the demotion process later. Right now, we have a very hurt agent and her human boyfriend, Drew, Nikki, and the others to deal with."
Gabriel huffed, but said nothing. Nikki and Drew, as Superiors close to the defendant, stood next to Nancy as she was the High Up that had now taken charge of the case. Besides, Nikki and Drew actually respected Nancy.
Nancy smiled faintly,
"Now, let's see…I don't see a failed assignment, do you Gabriel? Alex?"
Alex and Garbiel looked closely, but alas there was no sign of a red wisp still within him- trapped while waiting for the wish to be fulfilled. Which meant-
"-Max completed her assignment," Nancy said with a smile, "Young Kasanoda has had his wish fulfilled, even if it was with one of our own. So we can't really do a thing about it, can we?"
Nancy sent a look to the sheepish and blushing Nikki. Gabriel's frown deepened while Alex looked amused at the whole situation. Max looked at them hopeful,
"Does that mean that… I don't have to be a deskie?"
"More than that," Nancy said with a chuckle, "Dear, I think we can all agree that you are free to go."
Alex nodded with a large smile. When Gabriel failed to nod, Alex stepped on his foot. Gabriel narrowed his eyes, but then finally gave a soft smile and a nod. Max stood up shaking, Tetsuya got up and held her arm as to steady her. The others followed suit- one by one, they stood up.
"Free… to go," Max repeated, confused.
Beside Nancy, Drew and Nikki looked so proud and were just beaming with happiness.
"That means you're free," Nancy gestured to the room, "Of everything. All this. Your wings were taken off and broken in the process. Since each pair of wings are made specifically for someone and can't be remade… You can't be an agent or a Superior since it requires a lot of flying. You can't be a deskie since you did complete your mission and therefore you aren't demoted… Not to mention the fact that if we don't do this then we're going against a wish… So we're letting you go."
Max still stared at them confused. Nancy finally sighed and went over. She leaned to whisper into Max's ear,
"This means that you're free to go live your life as a human and be with your boy toy."
Max turned pink, but nodded with a smile. As soon as Nancy had backed away, Max turned to Tetsuya with a large smile. She jumped into his arms and kissed him,
"This means we can be together," she murmured.
Drew smirked as the small red wisp came off of Tetsuya, Max's mission wasn't the only assignment completed now, he thought as he looked at Max and Tetsuya, Carol owes me a twenty now since she bet against them.
Max and Nikki looked at the bill, horrified. After all everything was done, Max's back was healed by Nancy (as an apology) and the bumps on her back that were for wings had disappeared. She was human. She was with Tetsuya. It was a happy ending… just not a happy ending for their wallets.
Nikki kept her word so Max and Nikki had taken the hosts, Ritsu, Tetsuya, and Drew to Denny's to celebrate. However, Nikki wished that she had chosen someplace else- someplace with a dollar menu. Even if some of the items were only four to eight dollars, they all managed to get a pretty big bill.
Tetsuya sat beside Max with a full stomach and a content smile as he wrapped his arm around her waist. Ritsu mirrored Tetsuya's actions as he did the same with Nikki. Both of them really did have a happy ending- they both got the girls of their dreams, even if it wasn't what either of them expected.
A light bulb went off in Max's head as she grabbed the bill. She handed it to Drew- who was wiping his mouth.
"Consider it payment for all of my chips that you stole."
Drew looked down at the bill and paled.
"I couldn't have stolen that many chips."
"Drew, you've been stealing my chips since we knew each other," Max pointed out, "So I'm pretty sure that you're actual bill to me for chips is even higher… But if you're complaining about paying that bill, feel free to pay me back personally in full."
Drew paled even more,
"….I'll take this bill, thank you."