Take My Hand

A Pretear Fanfic

By Arysta

Take it!

Himeno! Now!

Hayate tore his eyes from the wide-eyed Princess and looked at his fellow Knights. The mayouchuu was strong—too strong. They needed her. They needed Pretear, and they needed her immediately!

She was hesitant, but she had returned. She wanted to fight. She would be Pretear. He could see it in her eyes, a determination that he understood—a feeling he shared.

She slid her fingers into his palm. The world exploded around him.

Hayate had time for one quick gasp before the light enfolded him, just long enough to catch hold of his scattered senses. Ruthlessly, he clamped down on the swirl of emotion. The Pret would be difficult the first time—she didn't need his confusion over the situation added to her own.

"What's going on?" The first echoes of her voice came to him.

He projected calmness and security. He would protect her. She needn't worry.

His body fell away, leaving his soul free to find its place within Pretear.

A niggling worry touched him—would she accept him? He had never before been the first to Pret with a new Pretear. Could she reject him? Even as he considered the implications, she opened to him. A wound of gaping light, a siren's call, pulled him into her. He followed, helpless to do otherwise.

Her soul grasped his and twined it throughout her own. He was engulfed by warm liefe, held tight in Pretear's sweet, innocent embrace.

The Pret wasn't clean, but when the Pret finished he saw through her eyes, felt the beat of her heart.

 "Where… where are you?"

 "Inside you."

He felt the spastic thump of her heart, and for the first time felt the sheer intimacy of the Pret. Two souls sharing a body, a heart and a mind. How had he never noticed that before?

She was becoming frantic. He rode the waves of her emotion, letting her come to terms with the Pret.

 "We must fight," he reminded her.

The mayouchuu launched an attack. Hayate barely managed to defend. He absorbed the force of the attack easily, doing it before Pretear even noticed that contact had been made.

The Knight of Sound appeared before them. "I'll hold them off."

Did Hayate see compassion in those eyes? Sasame was gone before he could be sure.

"You must be still," he said. "Listen to my voice. We have to fight."

"How?"

"Wind. I am the Knight of Wind. My powers will be your weapon." He gave of himself without hesitation, without thought. He opened the gates to himself and let his power out in a rush.

She reacted ridiculously, flailing about and chanting as if saying 'wind' would send the power hurlting from her hands.

"Concentrate," he instructed. "Do you feel it?"

Her mind stilled. He felt her touch the newborn wind liefe inside of her. She found it unerringly, and it shifted at her touch.

In a feat more lucky than skillful, she pulled the attack from his mind. She didn't even realize what she had done, he knew. Her strength, her easy command of him, tried his choke-held emotion.

She blasted the wind at the mayouchuu. It didn't even flinch.

Once more she rummaged through his brain—and came up with the Sword of the Wind. The power surged as she drew the blade and launched herself at the mayouchuu in a smooth, controlled streak. Hayate steadied her, supported her, and held her wrist as she held his blade.

It was over quickly. A slice, and the mayouchuu crumpled lifelessly. Shin removed the barrier, and Pretear settled back on the group.

Hayate stumbled free from her body, the ache in his arm and shoulder multiplying as he regained his flesh. The other Knights crowded around the girl, giving him enough time to escape.

He fell heavily onto the stone bench and tried to breathe. He felt naked, and totally overwhelmed. His shoulder and side bled freely—he would have to find a bandage soon. He conjured on his street clothing and stood.

Blood fell from his fingertip. He felt lightheaded already! He knew he had to escape soon.

"You're hurt!"

Hayate barely heard Sasame's babbled explanation. He was concentrating on staying upright and conscious. Though he could have battled on, the mayouchuu's death and the expulsion from the most delicious, most bewildering Pret of his life threw him for a complete loop.

He would let them figure things out.

The Princess' worried eyes caught his own. He grumbled out some response, and then fled, as fast as he could.

THE END