AN: This was (I thought) a brilliant idea given to me by my dear friend Rachel. Thanks a mil, babe! I don't own Pretear, okay? Quit rubbing it in…runs away crying

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No Man Should Feel

Hayate settled comfortably into the pret. Though the Princess of Disaster, Fenrir, had been stopped, they continued their training on occasion. It was an easy and convenient excuse to keep everyone in touch, to see each other once in a while. Plus, it was fun, and there was no telling when or if something new could pop up.

This time, it was his turn to pret. Not that he minded any. He loved these times, when he became one with the Pretear. Nestled safely inside her, his soul bonded with the soul of the Princess he cherished, their Leafe moving in sync to create a new power for her to use…it was a magic beyond anything.

But today, something felt…odd. Off, somehow. And it wasn't him, it was Himeno. Things felt strange coming from her end of the pret. And after a moment, he became acutely aware of discomfort; once again, it was from her. And it was unlike anything he had ever felt before. It was like his stomach had twisted into a multitude of knots, dropped off Tokyo Tower, and then the Riverdance team had come out and performed their most complex routine on top of it before putting it back inside him.

"Himeno?" he asked within her mind. "What's wrong?"

"Huh?" her response was definite confusion. "Nothing's wrong. Why?"

Had he been in his normal body, he would have doubled over, cringing at the sick feeling in his stomach. "It…it doesn't feel right. I feel sick. Are you sure you're all right?"

She laughed. "I'm fine."

And the training continued. She twisted and turned, dodging attacks and returning with attacks of her own. Hayate lent her his power, trying desperately to ignore the lurching of his stomach. All he really wanted to do at that point was flop down on the ground and curl up into the fetal position.

And it was to get worse.

Suddenly, he felt a spasm of pain. It was like someone had jabbed a thousand needles into his stomach from the inside. He let out a cry and recoiled from the sudden pain. It was so terrible he couldn't breathe, could barely move without it feeling like someone had rammed a fist of broken glass into him.

He heard Himeno gasp. "Hayate, what's wrong?"

"It hurts, it hurts, it hurts!" he wasn't usually one to whine, but this was unlike anything, any pain or any sensation he had ever experienced before. "It feels like somebody's stabbing me!"

"Hayate…" she sounded confused.

He then became aware of something else. It was something he hadn't quite noticed before, a part of her physical being. And it was yet another source of agonizing discomfort for him. "There's something inside…there. Where there's not supposed to be anything. What the hell is wrong?"

In spite of himself, he felt a sense of realization, as though she had just figured something out. He heard her voice calling to the others. "Guys, hold up. I think Hayate needs to get out of this pret." She touched down, coming out of flight, and relaxed.

Hayate leapt at the opportunity. It wasn't often that he was desperate to get out of a pret with Himeno, but this was excruciating! He couldn't take it anymore! This was horrible! It was with a huge sigh of relief that his solid, physical feet touched down on the ground as he took his own form. He fell to his knees and wrapped his arms around his stomach, wishing desperately that the last remnants of that horrible, sickening feeling would go away.

"What's wrong?" he heard a slight fuss going over his head. His fellow Knights, wondering what was so wrong with their fearless leader that he would pull out of a pret with his beloved Princess. Whatever it was, it had to be serious.

"Hayate, what exactly was wrong again?" Himeno asked, dropping to one knee beside her Knight.

"That was awful!" he sighed, as he started feeling normal again. "My stomach…ugh…and there was something in there…ugh…" He gave her a suspicious glare. "Are you sure you're not sick?" There were worried murmurs from the others.

Shin tugged on her sleeve. "Himeno-one-chan…are you dying?"

She laughed and shook her head. "No, no, there's nothing wrong."

"Then what's wrong with Hayate?" Sasame asked.

Himeno sighed. "Umm…" She glanced down at Hayate, who was still incapable of standing upright. "I don't think we should do any preting for the next couple of days. I mean, if you guys take the pain, then I don't want to put you through that."

Blank stares met her statement.

Suddenly, Goh went as red as his jacket. "Oh…oh, I think I get it…oh…" He looked incredibly flustered. "Himeno, is…are you…" Looking throughly embarassed, he leaned forward and whispered into her ear. She nodded, and he looked like he wanted to hide under a rock.

"What?" Mannen demanded. "What's going on?"

"You're too young," Goh replied.

"You're treating me like a kid again!" Mannen roared.

"No, really. You are too young," Goh said. He then muttered something that sounded suspiciously like, 'I am too…' Then he turned to Himeno and said, "Why don't you go lay down? You're probably feeling it now, aren't you?"

She frowned, and put one hand to her stomach. She nodded. "Yeah…I'll see you later. Thanks." And she was gone, heading back towards the house, leaving behind some very confused Knights, the youngest of whom were rapidly becoming convinced that their beloved Pretear was going to keel over and die a horrible death from some unknown disease, leaving them alone.

"So would you mind filling me in?" Hayate demanded. He seemed to have regained the ability to stand, and was leaning against a nearby tree for support. He still looked faintly pale from his ordeal.

Goh laughed, and dropped a hand on Hayate's shoulder. He leaned in, and whispered in a voice soft enough that the kids couldn't hear, but the adults could, "Congratulations. You've felt something no man should feel. You're the first man to ever know what a period feels like."

Hayate's head swivelled back and forth—he looked at Goh's face (which was dancing somewhere between amused and embarassed) and Himeno's retreating back. To and fro, his head swung, about five times in succession, before he suddenly stood up ramrod straight and shouted, "You've got to be kidding!"

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AN: This idea was the brainchild of my friend Rachel, but I'm the one who actually wrote the story. So if you loved it, I thank you! If you hated it…I blame her. It's all her fault! Heehee, I'm just kidding. I hope you enjoyed it—poor Hayate, lol. Laters!!