Author's Note: I've always wondered what would have happened if Takami wasn't such a stubborn idiot about her children becoming Ashikabi. This is the result of my pondering.
Disclaimer: I do not own Sekirei.
"Minato." - Regular Speech
'Musubi' - Thoughts
"Kaminari!" - Sekirei Incantation
Chapter 1: Lightning Strike, Thunder Roar
MBI HQ, Teitō Tower
Sekirei Adjustment Section
Sekirei Number Eleven, Hikari, was sitting upright on an examination table while she watched Sahashi Takami, the Head of the Sekirei Plan, finish examining her twin sister, Sekirei Number Twelve, Hibiki.
At long last.
Hikari was very impatient. She wanted to get out of the damn tower and find the man that she and her sister had been reacting to for a while now and Wing themselves on him, not sit on their asses like a pair of idiots while they were given a 'final check-up' before being released.
Being almost identical twins made the two sisters fairly hard to tell apart. Hikari was the one who generally stood out more with her significantly larger bust, but Hibiki maintained that she had a better ass than her older twin did.
Their personalities were different as well. Hibiki was calm and composed, while Hikari was short-tempered and impulsive.
Other than those minor details, they were exactly identical. Tall and slender young women with long black hair tied into two ponytails and with light hazel eyes. They loved each other dearly and had sworn to have the same Ashikabi so as to not be separated from one another.
Luckily enough, they had both reacted to the same Ashikabi, a man by the name of Seo Kaoru. He was handsome and seemed to be a nice guy. Just about the only thing that troubled the sisters about him was how…weak…their reaction to him was.
From everything they had been told, reacting to an Ashikabi should instantly draw them to the person they were reacting to, like a moth to a flame. With Seo, it was more like a gentle tug to draw their attention.
"Well then, Number 11, Number 12." Takami said as she finished writing down Hibiki's results on her clipboard, "You are both in the pink of health."
"Good." Hikari snapped, "Now can we please have some clothes?"
She gestured down at the thin plastic hospital gown that she and her sister wore. Not only was it unflattering, but it didn't have a back to it. The raven-haired Sekirei had to wonder what kind of perverted human had designed these things.
"Ah yes. Of course." the woman nodded and took out her phone. Sahashi Takami had ash-grey hair and slate-grey eyes and she wore jeans, a light pink shirt and a white lab coat. For a woman who was almost forty, she was still just as attractive as when she was younger.
Before the doctor could punch in the full number of the Sekirei Clothing Outfitting Department, her phone began to ring. With a sigh, Takami regarded the Caller ID and gestured for the two sisters to be quiet and not speak. The twins nodded in agreement, so Takami answered the phone and put it to her ear.
"Min-chan? What's up?" Takami asked with a hint of a smile on her face, "You don't usually call at this time."
She listened for a moment to whoever was on the other end of the phone before a frown crossed her face and a dangerous glint entered her eye.
"He did it again?!" she hissed, "After the warning I gave him last time, he ended up in hospital. Is he stupid or something? No, don't answer that."
Takami listened again, the frown on her face deepening as she paced back and forth across the length of the room and made the occasional noise to indicate that she was listening. Apparently, she had gotten an idea, as her eyes shifted and locked onto the twins, who were trying and failing to look as though they weren't listening in.
The grey-haired woman then grinned evilly, making the twins wonder what she was plotting and how it would affect them.
"Min-chan, don't worry." she told the person on the phone, "I have a plan in the works. I'll be sending a couple of people around to…educate…your landlord. They'll then take you to a special hospital I have some influence at. I can't get away from work until the afternoon, so I'll meet you there, OK? Sit tight and try not to move your arm, got it? Good. See you later, Min-chan."
She ended the call and stared at the phone for a moment.
"Doctor, who was that?" Hibiki asked curiously.
Takami looked at her with a small smile and said, "That was my son, Minato. He needs help and I would like to ask a favour of you two in order to give it to him."
The twins were both curious and wary simultaneously.
"You see, Minato is applying to Shintō Teito University and is in the middle of preparations for his second attempt at the Entrance Exam." Takami explained once she had caught their attention, "Unfortunately, last year, despite all my efforts to conceal the fact, Minato's Landlord, Ondori Takuya, discovered the fact that I am a high-level member of MBI and started putting pressure on my son for more rent money than he could afford as a prep student."
"How much?" Hikari asked.
"Jū-Man-en (A Hundred-Thousand Yen) per week." Takami replied in disgust, "For a pathetic little six-mat room."
The twins gaped in shock. They had been taught the basics of economics just in case they were unwinged for an extended period of time, so they knew the average price for such a small room and it was nothing close to that amount. Moreover, most rented flats and apartments were paid monthly, not weekly.
"Was he trying to evict your son or what?" Hibiki asked in bemusement.
"Probably." Takami replied with a shrug, "Ondori has a grudge against MBI. I don't know what it is and I don't really care. In the end, Minato managed two weeks for payments by emptying his savings, but couldn't make the third week. Ondori got pissed and broke Minato's right arm, the same day that he was supposed to sit his Entrance Exam."
The sisters noticed that her hands were clenched into fists and that an angry flame was lit in her eyes. They silently promised themselves not to get on this woman's bad side.
"Because of that, Minato wasn't able to take the exam and was forced to become a rōnin (unemployed secondary school graduate)." Takami said grimly, "When I found out, I had him admitted to an MBI-controlled hospital and personally went to have a discussion with Ondori-san, during which I made it perfectly clear that a recurrence of such actions would result in a far more…severe…discussion that getting kicked around by me. As you heard just now, he has evidently recovered his courage."
"While this is interesting, doctor, what do you want us to do about it?" Hikari asked bluntly.
"Ondori-san has broken Minato's left arm this time and has evicted him, or tried to at least." Takami replied, "He demanded more money. Min-chan refused to hand any over, barring the amount agreed upon in the lease."
"The man sounds like a slimeball." Hibiki muttered.
"He is." Takami confirmed, "As I told Min-chan, I can't get away from work until this afternoon. Number Eighty-Eight needs a last minute adjustment before she can be released, so I'd like to ask you two to act in my stead."
"HUH!?" the twins yelped simultaneously.
"By that, I mean I'd like you two to beat the snot out of the fat bastard who dared to attack my son again, then take Minato to the MBI Hospital." Takami said with a grin, "You'd be free to find your Ashikabi after that."
"What's in it for us?" Hikari asked.
"The high chance that you will both react to Minato, of course." Takami replied.
"But…" Hibiki said with a frown, "We're already reacting to someone."
"So? Just because you've reacted to one person doesn't mean that you can't react to someone else." Takami replied, "And, while I hate to admit that Minaka-baka has a point with anything, Minato is almost guaranteed to be a strong Ashikabi because he's my son."
"What do you have to do with your son being an Ashikabi?" Hikari pointed out.
"I'm an Ashikabi as well." Takami replied, "I was with Minaka when he discovered the ship and was let in, so I am an Ashikabi. Min-chan is highly likely to be an incredibly strong one as well. I really would prefer it if he wasn't involved in this stupid game of Minaka's, as long as he's in Shintō Teito, he will become an Ashikabi. I might as well make sure his first Sekirei are good ones."
Hikari leapt to her feet with small tendrils of lightning arcing across her body and glared at Takami.
"We're reacting to Seo!" she growled, "We don't want another Ashikabi!"
The grey-haired woman's eyes narrowed at the ravenette. "Seo? As in Seo Kaoru?"
"So what if it is?" Hikari said defiantly.
"…how he manages to give me a headache when he isn't even here is amazing." Takami grumbled, "The one and only reason Seo isn't in prison right now is because he knows too many secrets about MBI. He is being fired as we speak and Minaka has issued a directive that any Sekirei that gets Winged by him has their MBI cards cancelled."
"W-Why?!" Hibiki yelped.
"He's been working against MBI ever since Takehito died." Takami replied, "Gathering dirt on MBI, embezzling company money, defying Minaka…the list goes on. He'd be a terrible Ashikabi, not the least because of his laziness and the immense gambling debts he has."
The twin Sekirei known as the Raiden Futago (Thunder and Lightning Twins) exchange a look that might as well be an entire conversation thanks to their twin bond. Finally, Hibiki turned to Takami.
"Are you certain that we can react to someone other than Seo?" she asked.
"Yep." the Head of the Sekirei Plan replied, "Just like humans can fall in love with different people, so too can Sekirei react to different people. Just for curiosities sake, how strongly have you both been reacting to Seo when he came within, say, a foot or so from you?"
"Barely a small tug." Hibiki replied quietly, "No warmth, no desire, just a small tug."
"Seo, at one point in his life, was probably a good match for the two of you." Takami said, with every visible sign of reluctance, "Now though, that potential is mostly gone, which would explain why you only feel a small reaction towards him."
This seemed to make Hibiki and Hikari think for a moment before the younger sister cocked her head to one side slightly.
"Why us?" she asked, "Why ask us to be your son's Sekirei?"
"His FIRST Sekirei." Tamaki corrected her with a smile, "A number of reasons actually. You were both Adjusted by Takehito, so there isn't any chance of you having less power than the standard he set, thus you'll be able to protect him well. You're both street-smart and quick on the uptake, so you'll be able to adjust rather quickly to The Capital. Above all, you two are genetically identical, so if one of you reacts, chances are that the other one will as well, so Min-chan gets a two-for-the-price-of-one deal."
"We don't want other Sekirei with whoever Wings us." Hikari said moodily.
"The more Sekirei an individual Ashikabi has, the better their chances of surviving to the end of all six stages of the Sekirei Plan." Takami replied, her voice hard and unrelenting at this point, "I assume you remember what happens to Sekirei if their Ashikabi dies?"
The sisters flinch at the reminder. The thought of their Ashikabi -whoever it ended up being- dying was bad enough. The fact that that person's death would, in turn, kill all Sekirei Winged by that Ashikabi was enough to make Hikari and Hibiki move closer to each other, just to make sure that the other was still there.
Takami's expression softened. "Look, I know that you want your Ashikabi to yourselves, but a good Ashikabi will be able to make time for all of you."
"This is all presuming that we react to your son in the first place." Hibiki pointed out.
The human woman shrugged. "If you do, you do. If you don't, you don't. It's worth a shot at the very least, wouldn't you agree?"
The twins looked at each other and held another silent conversation with each other for a moment. Then, as one, they looked at Tamaki.
"We'll do it." they said as one.
½ Hour Later…
Sahashi Minato's Rented Room…
The young man cradling his arm inside the small, spartanly decorated room was, at first glance, unremarkable. He was good-looking, in an ordinary way. He was slightly too thin, which when combined with his average height, made him look somewhat waif-like. His black hair and slate-gray eyes, inherited from his mother, gave him a laid-back appearance.
All in all, he was someone that one would look at in the street and then move away from. Thoroughly average and thus easily overlooked.
"Well Minato, you've really put your foot in it this time." he mused aloud.
He should have just given the man the money he demanded when he asked, then contacted his mother later and told her what had happened and let her sort the idiot man out like she said she would.
But no, he had had to play the tough man, even though he wasn't one. And, once again, here he was with a broken arm right before the exams. Thankfully, it wasn't his writing arm this time, so he could hopefully take his Entrance Exam properly this time…if Ondori-san didn't break his other arm as well…again.
The sound of a car pulling up made Minato's head shoot up in hope. Maybe this was the promised help from his mother. Gingerly, he stood up, taking care not to jolt his arm as he did so, and shuffled to the room's sole window.
Peering out, he gaped as he saw a goddamn limo sitting outside the small apartment complex. Standing right next to it was a pair of regal looking girls dressed in jeans, trainers and t-shirts. Despite the fact they wore ordinary looking clothes, it detracted nothing from how beautiful they were.
"Uh-oh." Minato muttered. There was Ondori-san running out to shout at them. He hated rich people. The small fat man also hated poor people, old samurai families, businessmen, shopkeepers, children, the elderly and pretty much anyone who isn't Ondori-san himself.
Ondori, who had a flat, bald and square head that greatly resembled a misshapen potato, was barely five feet tall. He wore loose trousers and a string vest that did absolutely nothing to hide his distended and rarely washed belly as he waddled out shouting at the girls, one arm being shaken furiously at them in anger.
The looks of revulsion on their faces was enough to tell Minato that not only could they see Ondori-san, they could smell him as well. The scent of overcooked garlic often accompanied Ondori-san.
The girls, who almost had to be twins given how they were virtually identical to one another, pointed their hands at Ondori-san…and blasted him with purple electricity!
"What the…?!" Minato breathed in shock. Ondori-san was flung back several meters, landing with a crash on the ground. He wasn't dead, despite the smoke that rose off of him. His limbs twitched spasmodically before stilling as he fell into unconsciousness.
The two girls gave each other a high-five before looking around. One of them pointed at Minato's room and they both started walking to the stairs.
He just hoped the two weren't going to zap him as well.
"Urgh, that sack of meat smelt awful before we zapped him." Hibiki said with her delicate nose wrinkled daintily, "Now he smells worse!"
"Let's get the kid and get outta here." Hikari replied as she stalked towards the stairs. Takami had told them which room Minato was currently renting…a status that would not last any longer than it took the lawyers Takami had hired to file charges against one Ondori Takuya. Aggravated Assault, Attempted Entrapment, ABH (Actual Bodily Harm) and Breach of Contract would sort him out fairly quickly.
The elder twin was still full of doubts about this. A part of her was still loyal to Seo, damn whatever the older human had told her about him. She also doubted that a nineteen-year-old boy could make her react in a greater way than Seo, a grown man, could.
Hibiki, the calmer twin, was more accepting of Takami's words than her tempestuous elder sister, but even she held her doubts that Minato could make one of them react, never mind both of them. She simply knew better than to voice them aloud like Hikari did.
What puzzled both twins though was the secret little smile that Takami had given them when Hikari had voiced their doubts. Almost as if she knew something that they didn't. It was infuriating that she had bustled around, gotten them clothes, given them the location of her son's apartment and then waved them off, all the while wearing that irritating little smile.
"What's that odd feeling in the air?" Hikari asked suddenly, pausing at the foot of the stairs. Hibiki paused as well. Her sister was right, there was an odd feeling in the air, almost a physical presence, but oddly…not.
If the twins had been forced to describe it, they would have said it was like being near a large bonfire. Close enough to feel, but not close enough to actually warm up.
"Nee-chan, you don't think…?" Hibiki asked quietly.
"It can't be!" the elder twin refuted incredulously, "We couldn't even feel Seo unless he was within a foot of us! There's no way a boy could be so strong that we can feel him from a few meters away!"
"Still, this is…more than I have ever felt with Seo." Hibiki said softly, "Even touching him didn't make me this…warm…inside. I think we should see how it is when we come to within a foot of him, but I am already convinced that this is a good idea."
"How?!" Hikari asked her sister in astonishment.
"For a while at least, we will have him to ourselves, which means we will be his First Sekirei." Hibiki replied, "We'll be able to influence which Sekirei he Wings and hold his highest confidence. I know we wanted to only have each other as our Ashikabi's Sekirei, but once we Wing ourselves on him and Emerge, his power will become like a Sekirei magnet."
Hikari found herself unable to voice any words of protest against any of her younger twin's points. It was true that, with every Sekirei an Ashikabi Wings, that Ashikabi's power will increase accordingly, more so if the Sekirei that are Winged are both willing and reacting to the Ashikabi. The sheer amount of power that she was sensing would make sense if the Sekirei Plan was in the Second Stage, but the First Stage had only just begun.
'Takami-sensei must have had children with another Ashikabi. There's no other explanation for this ridiculous level of power.' Hibiki considered as she and her sister slowly climbed the steps to Minato's room, the feeling of heat and power growing more and more with every step, 'I've never heard of a selective breeding program in humans for the Sekirei Plan, and Takami-sensei definitely doesn't strike me as the kind of person who would have children for such a reason…maybe it is just a coincidence?'
She shook her head in an almost unperceivable way. It actually didn't matter whether it was intentional or a pure coincidence. The end result was that, standing outside the door of Takami's son's rented room, she and her sister were barely able to stand from the feeling of power that they could sense from within the room.
Shakily, Hikari banged twice on the door. "Sahashi Minato! Your mother sent us to take you to hospital! Get out here!"
"Hikari!" Hibiki scolded her.
"Shush it you!" Hikari barked back.
The creak of the door opening drew the sisters from their argument. The cautious way that he regarded the both of them told the twins he had been watching out of his window when they had 'educated' his landlord.
"Errr….hi!" he said with a nod of his head, "Thanks for doing this."
The wince that accompanied this wasn't lost on the two Sekirei. Hibiki took charge.
"What part of your arm is broken?" she asked.
"My forearm." Minato winced, "Not my brightest idea."
"Let's see." Hibiki gently touched the arm in question, "Yep. A surprisingly clean break by the looks of it. Let's get you to the hospital so we can get you sorted."
"Right." he nodded, "Should I bring my stuff, or should that wait until later?"
"Bring it." Hikari said shortly. She was exercising all of her considerable self-control so as not to accidentally injure the boy further by gabbing him and Winging herself on him. Although the vitality boost would help him, it might also make his arm set at an awkward angle, meaning it would have to be re-broken and reset.
As Minato turned around to grab his bag, Hibiki threw a knowing look at her sister before grabbing the bag from the boy who would very shortly become their Ashikabi, citing that he shouldn't put stress on an injured body.
Hikari just huffed. She knew that Hibiki was feeling the exact same thing that she was -hell, probably even more so because she'd come into skin-to-skin contact with him!- yet she wasn't showing any signs of discomfort or desire.
'She always was better at controlling herself than me.' the eldest twin bemoaned in mild irritation.
"Wow." Minato looked at Hibiki in a mix of awe and respect, "You're pretty strong."
She had a rucksack on her back and two suitcases in her hands, which were presumably full of the young rōnin's clothes and other things.
"I'm somewhat stronger than the norm, Minato-san." Hibiki replied demurely, "Now, we should be moving. That broken bone won't heal itself."
Next Chapter: Wagtails and Wings