Happy Birthday Have a Little Feith!
Also, as requested I have made some more new Nanoha crossovers for two of my other fans!
Uzume was out and about after she had secured yet another hapless Sekirei couple with Miya. She would return once she had finished grocery shopping for the Inn.
For months she had dreamed of what her Ashikabi would be like. Would they be kind? Would they have the same hobbies and interests as she did? Would they care that she didn't exactly have a bloodless past? She had burned quite a few bridges when she killed those scientists and guards helping Matsu escape with that stupid crystal.
Considering all she had done, and all the thoughts of what they could be like, it was only natural it took her a few moments to realize she was reacting to someone close by. A fated encounter as it were.
So imagine her shock when she realized she was reacting to a girl not even ten. A girl with kind eyes and a wheelchair. A girl who was clearly an orphan.
Who was having trouble reaching the higher shelves.
Seizing on a chance to at least get to know the kid, seeing as how she was apparently her Ashikabi, Uzume helped her out.
"Not a problem!" said Uzume cheerfully. Okay, a prepubescent kid stuck in a wheelchair was not what she had in mind, but never let it be said Uzume couldn't go with the flow.
So what if Uzume discreetly asked the girl a few innocent questions, or immediately had Matsu look her up the second she was home.
Hayate Yagami. Orphan, nine years old and currently living alone in a house registered to someone from England. And, according to her medical records, a victim of an unknown paralysis that has been baffling the doctors for months. But there was one detail Matsu found that had Uzume rather glad she had landed the girl as her Ashikabi.
Hayate was a frequent visitor to cosplay websites and even submitted drawings of the most adorable outfits.
Uzume, in her mind, had hit the jackpot! Someone who had the same hobby she did!
Miya, however, was less than pleased. Uzume had a nine-year-old Ashikabi, and Sekirei lived on their master's love. How would a child react to having to deal with an overly amorous Sekirei like Uzume?
Hayate was about to head to bed when she realized there was someone on the veranda outside. The person was covered in what looked like veils of cloth. She had a sizable chest, and from what little she could see, brown hair.
Hayate carefully rolled her chair outside. Nearby she saw a man wearing a black overcoat and mask, with pale ash gray hair.
"Are you sure she's your Ashikabi?" he asked. His eyes were kind, but he smelled of smoke.
"Considering I'm still reacting, yes."
"Ano...who are you and why are you at my house?"
The female bent down so Hayate could be at eye level...relatively speaking.
"Do you believe in aliens?" she asked.
"Yes. I find it silly to believe that this planet is the only one with intelligent life," said Hayate.
"Would you believe me if I said that there's a species of humanoid aliens that have the ability to find their destined one, regardless of age, race, or even gender? And that they have fantastic powers fueled by love?"
Hayate squinted. That voice sounded really familiar.
"Aren't you that lady from the market earlier?"
The veiled woman winced.
"She's got you there Uzume," said the man.
"Shut it Homura. I didn't ask you to come," snapped Uzume, pulling off the top veil to reveal her face. Homura snorted.
"Miya demanded I escort you the second she found out your possible Ashikabi was a child," said Homura.
"I'm not Matsu!" said Uzume, sounding offended that this 'Miya' actually thought she would pounce on her Ashikabi when it was clear they were wheelchair bound.
"Um...what's going on here?"
Uzume looked sheepish. She had almost forgotten about why they had come all this way out here.
"I'm a Sekirei, a type of alien that can...react...to their Ashikabi, or destined one. And earlier I was reacting to you," explained Uzume.
"But I'm only nine!" said Hayate, eyes wide.
"I know. Unfortunately reacting to someone doesn't exactly hold off just because someone is underage. However that doesn't mean we'd get up to anything until you're at least fifteen or so," said Uzume quickly.
"Miya would kill you otherwise," said Homura. Uzume shot him a look, telling him to shut up.
Hayate took a deep breath, before focusing on something that had been bugging her ever since she saw the outfit Uzume wore.
"How are you holding those veils up? Is it a special stitch or do you use clothes pins?"
Uzume had a carefree grin on her face.
"That's my power. I can control cloth. And it means I can wear this without any of it slipping," said Uzume proudly.
Hayate's eyes gleamed, her inner designer seeing the potential possibilities.
"Can you control any piece of cloth?"
"Pretty much, as long as I'm in contact with it and under my Norito," said Uzume.
"So how does one become an Ashikabi?" asked Hayate. No way was she passing up a chance to finally bring some of her more daring creations to life!
"With a kiss," said Uzume, suddenly blushing. Hayate blushed too...she never expected her first kiss would be given to an alien! But Uzume seemed really nice.
And the wings that sprang from Uzume's back were really interesting and gave Hayate all sorts of ideas for costumes.
"Now the only question is what to do with you two," muttered Homura.
Hayate cocked her head.
"What do you mean?"
"I mean are you alright with Uzume moving in with you, or do you want to come live at the Inn with her? Ashikabi and Sekirei really shouldn't be too far apart from each other once they've made a connection. It leads to pain on the Sekirei's part," explained Homura.
"I live at Izumo Inn with a couple of friends of mine, including Mr. Broody over here," said Uzume. Hayate giggled at the affronted look Homura had on his face.
"Maybe I could visit the Inn and see what it's like," said Hayate. It sounded like more fun than a dinner alone. Again.
Homura took out a cell phone and called someone, presumably 'Miya'.
"She said she'd set another place at the table."
"Um...how are we going to reach the inn? I didn't hear a car..." asked Hayate.
"Are you afraid of heights or flying in general?" asked Uzume, almost like she was commenting on the weather.
"Not really," said Hayate, wondering why she would ask.
Uzume, with some help from Homura, managed to get Hayate settled onto her back.
What happened next firmly cemented Hayate's love of thrill rides, among other things. Uzume practically flew from roof to roof using nothing but her legs while maintaining a firm hold on Hayate the entire time. It was like they were flying!
Seeing the grin on the little girl's face, Uzume replied with one of her own.
Hayate was a little darling. Miya was instantly charmed by the girl's personality. She was polite, well mannered, and she had a delightful Kansai accent. She would have helped with the dishes, except Uzume forgot the wheelchair and the sink was too high up.
Now came the question. Should Uzume move into Hayate's house, or should Hayate move into the inn?
In the end, the debate was settled by one simple fact. Hayate didn't mind living alone, but it was too far from the hospital she went to for her appointments. The inn, however, was only a few blocks away from it and it didn't have the same empty feeling as the house. In fact it was rather lively, even if Uzume would have to take one of the first floor bedrooms instead of the second floor ones like she had originally. Fortunately, she didn't have much in the way of things to move.
Hayate's home was paid for by her 'uncle', who was a friend of her father's. He was responsible for her inheritance, and had his secretaries watch over her until she was old enough to handle herself.
She was grateful for them taking care of her, even if her legs made it hard for her to get around...but she didn't like living in an empty house.
The problem came with contacting Hayate's uncle. Not even Matsu, the excitable pervert on the second floor, could reach him. And considering she could quite literally control any electronic she could get her hands on thanks to her power, that was quite odd.
Which meant Hayate had no way of getting funds to pay for a room at the inn.
So they came up with a compromise. Hayate and Uzume would live in the house, but the night before any appointments she would stay at the inn...or if they just wanted to visit. At least until Hayate could contact her 'uncle' again.
Uzume didn't know how to describe it. But if she had to put it to words she would have to say...the house felt lonely. Hayate kept up a brave smile, but it was pretty clear she was really glad that Uzume lived with her.
The two of them often slept in the same bed. It wasn't that bad, considering they were both girls and Hayate seemed to have a thing for snoring on Uzume's chest. But it did lead to some interesting positions come morning.
However it was nothing compared to what happened when Hayate realized Uzume had a similar hobby...and didn't mind acting as dress up dummy for some of her creations (or using her powers to make it easier for Hayate to make said creations by holding the cloth perfectly still in awkward positions).
Hayate once went into her appointment dressed in a wagtail costume, much to the amusement of the doctors. And one of Hayate's friends in the long-term care ward named Chiho. Sometimes when she had to stay overnight, they put her in Chiho's room and the two would debate anything from manga to shows they had seen. Hayate's visits always cheered the poor girl up.
Uzume didn't know what this 'uncle' was thinking, leaving poor Hayate all alone in a big city. If he really cared about her then surely he could have allowed her to live with him, no matter how busy the schedule. Only having a pair of secretaries to come and look in on her was being just plain lazy.
Secretaries who hadn't been seen in over six months, even if the bills were being paid on time.
If Uzume ever met this 'Gil Graham' she was going to give him a piece of her mind...preferably out of hearing of Hayate, who might tell her not to.
Though that chained book which Hayate said was her dad's gave her some pretty creepy vibes.
Six months later...
Uzume's first impression of the 'secretaries' Hayate's uncle sent...was of a pair of cats. Which was rather weird. Though if she was surprised to see them while Hayate was staying overnight at the hospital, it was nothing compared to the shock they had on their faces finding someone they didn't recognize in Hayate's home.
Needless to say their first meeting went rather poorly without Hayate to mediate.
"Who are you?" demanded the 'older' feeling secretary.
"I should be asking that question, considering you two barged in here without even knocking! What did you do, pick the lock?" growled Uzume. They weren't Sekirei, but she'd be damned if she let some jumped up pair of idiots barge into Hayate's house!
The shorter haired one hissed at Uzume, making the cat comparison even stronger.
"Why are you in Hayate's house?" she demanded.
"I live here. Now who are you two and why did you barge in here?" said Uzume flatly. Oh how she wished Hayate were around, but she could still manipulate their clothes if she could grab them quick enough.
"We work for Hayate's uncle. What do you mean you live here?!"
Uzume suddenly realized these two idiots had to be the secretaries Hayate mentioned.
"Are you Aria and Lotte?" she asked.
Seeing them stiffen, she hit that nail on the head.
"Where is Hayate?"
Before Uzume could give a smart-assed comeback, likely about why should they care when they left her all alone for the better part of a year, when her phone went off. It was Miya.
She hit the answer button, and after a few moments closed it.
"Where is Hayate Yagami?" demanded the more mature of the two. She looked ready to start something, and likely cause a scene.
"That is none of your damn business, and frankly I don't see why you two even care. Any responsible adult wouldn't have left a nine-year-old all alone in a city like Shin Tokyo without at least leaving a guardian to contact, and not one of our messages went through. I don't know what you want with Hayate, but you're not going near her again," said Uzume darkly, all too ready to strangle them both with just their collars. She wasn't above killing to protect her Ashikabi.
Uzume went to the bathroom, then escaped via the window where she took a jump to the nearest roof. By the time the weird cat-women realized she wasn't in the house, she was already at the inn.
And she was distinctly not happy about the way they had acted without even showing the barest hint of civility.
"Ara...so these mysterious secretaries have finally returned?" said Miya, dishing out the food.
"They were beyond rude. They just came into the house without even bothering to knock, and they seemed offended at the fact I lived with Hayate," said Uzume in annoyance.
Matsu, who strangely enough also reacted to Hayate shortly after her first real sleepover at the inn but held off so Miya wouldn't use her Mask on the poor perverted Sekirei if she learned the red head had pounced on the disabled Ashikabi, was already in Norito mode. Hayate had given her a quick peck so she could keep tabs on the two secretaries once she found out they were back.
They were hiding something, but none of them had any idea what it was.
Which was why Hayate had installed a series of wireless webcams, all of which had the indicator light disabled personally by Matsu. Sure it meant she could literally spy on Hayate or Uzume when they were there, but they didn't mind overly much. The fact was that Uzume would rather have to deal with Matsu's spying than worry about the house while they weren't there. There was quite literally one camera in every corner of the house, and Matsu could access every one.
And right now she was recording some pretty incriminating evidence on the two secretaries...who apparently were cats of some sort. Though not ones that any of them had heard of.
All Matsu got out of a hurried conversation with someone they called 'Father' (likely Gil Graham) was that they were worried about something called the "Book of Darkness" and that Hayate had likely been abducted.
Fortunately they had already anticipated something like this, because Hayate had changed her emergency contact to Miya and Uzume. The doctor was glad to finally have someone they could contact and actually get a reply within a reasonable time limit.
Uzume played off her relationship as that of Hayate's older cousin, who had finally located her through detective agencies. Matsu had created a false trail to help Uzume's claim, including a fake family connection.
So if this Gil Graham tried to pull anything that would separate Hayate from Uzume, he would find himself facing an uphill battle. One Matsu would make as difficult as possible.
Hayate just hoped she could reason with him enough that he could at least allow her to move into Izumo full time rather than having to live in such an empty house.
It took the cat-women two days to finally track Hayate down, and they hadn't even bothered to hide to begin with.
Before Aria or Lotte could try and start making demands, Miya made her presence known...scaring both cats into submission without even a hint of protest.
She just had that sort of effect on people, and that was before her evil Hannya Mask came out to scare them shitless.
Still, with her present they at least were able to keep relatively calm enough to hear the slightly modified story.
"So let me get this straight. You are Hayate's third cousin once removed, and you found her through a detective you hired to find any remaining family you had left," said Lotte. She seemed to be buying it...sort of. "You then practically forced yourself into Hayate's life once you found out she lived alone, despite the fact you had already secured a room here."
"I didn't force myself on anyone! I explained to Hayate what was going on and she offered to let me stay at her place except for appointments because the inn was closer! Anyway you two don't have any room to talk, leaving her alone for months on end without even once sending someone to check on her!" said Uzume offended at the way Lotte phrased that. Miya raised an eyebrow and Uzume settled, though she was still pissed.
"What exactly are your plans for Hayate?" asked Aria.
"What plans? We've been trying to contact you people for months to see if we couldn't work out an arrangement so Hayate wouldn't be alone in that house anymore. It would be much easier if she lived here full time instead of having to split travel between the inn and that empty house. Not to mention she would have an easier time going to the hospital since the inn is closer to it," said Uzume.
They said nothing about what they overheard, because there was no way in hell Uzume was going to tell them about Matsu bugging Hayate's house. It might mean they would be tight lipped later on.
Lotte seemed to realize the problem, because after a moment she went to talk to her father about the situation. She came back fifteen minutes later.
"The house is already paid for, but he would prefer that it still got some use. He also said he would be willing to pay for a room as long as Hayate-chan lives here. Though not for Uzume-san," said Lotte narrowing her eyes at the brunette.
"We've been sharing for months now. Not like it bothers us that much," said Uzume shrugging. If need be she'd share with Matsu. At least until they left.
Lotte let out a breath.
"The first payment will come in a few days."
Unspoken was the fact that Matsu was absolutely going to trace the account back to the origin, at least to figure out what the hell was going on with Hayate's uncle. Something was up with this whole scenario, and she was determined to get to the bottom of it!