Chapter 7; Promise

"What just happened?" Haru asked, feeling all over her body to make sure everything was still there. Not that she would have minded finding no tail or cat ears or whiskers or fur, but she was just as glad to find that she was still whole.

"What is it with you and your cheesy light show, Baron?" Muta asked, letting himself in to the Bureau. "If you aren't flooding the refuge you're lighting your house up like a solar flare." The fat cat wasn't angry, just being grumpy because the lights had woken him up.

"I couldn't help it Muta," answered the Baron curtly, moving to take Haru's hands in his. "And I'm very sorry that it hurt, I didn't mean it to," he added quietly, looking earnestly in her eyes.

"I feel like something has changed, but I don't know what it is and I feel like I should know… What did you do, Baron?" Haru asked, wondering at this new strangeness that had come into her life.

"It wasn't exactly me, Miss Haru," he began, passing her a cup of tea. "In the core of every Creation, there is a small seed of magic, even those creations that never receive a soul have this, and in each Creation that seed of magic manifests differently, with one exception." He paused, knowing that there was nothing to be afraid of – he had already told her how he felt, and she had returned his feelings. Knowing, however, did not still the butterflies in his stomach.

He took a deep breath and held it for a moment, closing his eyes as he tried to phrase what he had to say. When Haru squeezed his hand, he looked at her again and the words found themselves for him.

"If a creation finds someone that they love, and who loves them, that seed of magic will change one or other of them so that they can be together, without any conscious thought or effort from the Creation."

"So what, we're married now?" Haru asked, trying to cover her shock with jocularity.

"No, but we can be. I'm not going to push you into another marriage just after you escaped one," the Baron said, finding his own refuge in the colour of tea, until he realised that his tea was much the same colour as Haru's eyes.

"Hmm," Haru took her hand back from the Baron and sipped her tea, thinking about what he had said. So now, I'm a wooden doll too?

"I think I'm still too young to be anybody's wife," she said at last. "I don't see why we can't go on as we started though, and figure things out from there."

"So you'll be stickin' around then, kid?" Muta asked, a whisk covered in whipped cream in his paw.

"I'll get you male-types house-broken yet," she said, laughter in her voice. Of all of them, she was probably the last one who should be saying that, though Muta didn't get the joke. Seeing that he was about to cry out at the indignity, Haru quickly waved her hand and said that she was only making fun and didn't really mean it.

When you're ready to ask me, Baron, I'll answer you, Haru thought to herself, wearing a secret smile that was all her own. I'm yours.