A/N: so not too many reviews as expected. I didn't really write much and so I won't complain much. I like to space out my chapters for this fic to maximize how many hits and reviews I get. I won't do that with the past chapter which is why I got to work on the next chapter the very next day. The next chapter will be spaced out just so I can get those reviews, but not a year long gap I promise.

"Thanks Akitsu, wake me up after breakfast, I won't be having any."

"Breakfast is an essential meal to start of the day; your body will need the energy, especially with the field of work you are involved in." Minato chuckled lightly to himself.

"Don't worry about me I'll have a big lunch, an early one at that." Minato replied as he shifted onto his side ready to drift off to sleep.

"How can I not worry?" Akitsu thought to herself. "Very well then." She responded in her typical cold monotone voice. She wrapped her arm around Minato's waist and pressed herself up to his body. "What would you like for your lunch tomorrow?" She did not receive a reply as Minato fell asleep almost immediately. Akitsu placed her hand on his chest and felt his heart beat lightly as his chest rose and fell in rhythm. "I wish I could bare your crest just as she does Minato. But I suppose... having this privilege with you… is nice as well. I wonder if that crest feels as warm as this." Akitsu placed her hand under Minato's shirt and onto his bare chest as she ran it in a circular motion over his torso. She eventually fell asleep to the rhythm of his breathing.

"Minato-sama wake up, you're going to be late to work." As Minato stirred awake he felt a weight on his chest. As his eyes fluttered open his eyes were met with a pair of blue ones that had just the slightest hint of melancholy and apathy to them.

"Thanks for waking me up Akitsu, I don't know how long I would have slept if you hadn't woken me." As he tried to get up he realized that Akitsu was actually lying down on his chest, her chest pressed against his. "Uh you can get up now too." Minato said chuckled nervously at the suggestive and embarrassing scene. "If the landlady sees this she might-"

"Might find out that you two are conducting yourselves inappropriately?" Minato flinched as he was cut off by the woman in question. "You know that I do not tolerate such behavior in my inn correct?"

"Miya-san it's not what it looks like!" Minato pleaded desperately as Akitsu took her time getting off maintaining her usual bored expression. Minato's plea was ignored cruelly as he and Akitsu were both disciplined with a wack on the head from the landlady's soup ladle.

"Such relations outside a married couple are inexcusable Minato, Akitsu." Miya chastised.

'Married couple?' Akitsu thought in confusion.

"Should it happen again you two will have separate rooms, understand me?" Minato hung his head in defeat as he and Akitsu mumbled their apologies. "Now get ready for work Minato, your going to be late. You're fortunate that Musubi managed to prepare you a breakfast you can eat on the way, I would not have prepared you something with the way you have been breaking the rules lately." As Minato expressed his astonishment at the touching gesture from his new friend Akitsu bit her lip.

Minato quickly changed into his work clothes and headed towards the bathroom for his morning hygienic rituals. Upon entering the bathroom he discovered the naked back of his Sekirei, Musubi, as she was preparing a bath for herself.

"Gomen Musubi-chan!"

"Minato-sama, good morning! Are you heading for work?" she asked innocently, without given a second thought to the fact that she, a woman, was naked in front of Minato, a man. The encounter had a similar feeling of the first morning Minato and Akitsu had with the lack of understanding of etiquette, only it was a bit more… light spirited.

"Excuse me; I'll get out of your way!" Minato exclaimed flustered, face a deep shade of red. "Thanks for the breakfast Musubi; I'll see you when I get home!" leaving a confused Musubi behind Minato ran for the door after picking up his lunch from Akitsu in the kitchen, saying goodbye to her as well.

Akitsu bit her lip again at a missed opportunity. But it was not as if she could not get another chance later when Minato returns. She wished that she had more time that morning and was not confident about her performance. Without the assistance from the landlady she would not even attempted as it could have resulted in disastrous consequences. She would have to wait until later before she could discover what the fruits of her labor had yield.

I woke up to the feeling of Akitsu's breasts on my chest, got scolded by the landlady, saw Musubi naked, and now I'm trying to eat my breakfast while running to get to work on time while running across busy streets avoiding cars… what a day, and it's only morning. I don't understand why Musubi didn't really mind that I saw her completely naked. Most women would freak out and break a man's morning wood for intruding on them while they were in the bath, but she wasn't fazed at all. I hope she doesn't get me into any trouble with the landlady, Akitsu has been a handful with her nonchalant attitude but an innocent ignorance would be the death of me. But I suppose it really isn't her fault, she seems like a complete air head. As cute as that is it will only get somewhat bothersome eventually.

From what I recall from the professor these Sekirei are suppose to be fighting one another until there is only one standing. For that to be true there have to be some really strong Sekirei out there, but Musubi doesn't really seem too different from an ordinary woman. Is she really fit for this sort of thing? By genetics she should technically she should be born for that sort of thing, but she seems far too innocent. Judging from the spectacle I witnessed the day we ran into each other, it would seem that different Sekirei have different powers and abilities, which are brought to their fullest potential when a Sekirei has obtained an 'Ashikabi', and a 'Norita' is recited. It sounds like I've gotten myself in some messed up stuff and I don't know what's going to happen now.

The actual winging of a Sekirei is done with a kiss, which would kind of literally explain the little light show after Musubi and I became partners. The ritual is also activated the same way. I wonder what that says about these so called Sekirei. What about their biology causes such dramatic differences in ability? I've been told that Sekirei would feel who their so called destined Ashikabi is once they meet. They react in some weird way; I guess that's what Musubi meant when she said she felt 'hot'. I was thinking of asking her more about it but I don't think I'll get any detailed information about it. However… this morning in the bathroom, before I had a massive nosebleed I noticed the Sekirei crest they talked about. Most of the Sekirei have the crest on the back of their necks. If another Sekirei recites that little chant on that crest, the Sekirei loses her abilities. But the symbol itself, even though I didn't get a good look, I could have sworn it was exactly the same symbol as the tattoo on Akitsu's forehead. No I'm sure of it, they were exactly the same!

I stop for a moment, to catch my breathe, and because of the shear magnitude of what I just realized. Akitsu is a Sekirei; this whole time we've been together she didn't tell me. Why? Why was it that she did not try to be winged? Could it have something to do with what she said the night we met?

I arrived at the construction site as I began to piece things together. I only have suspicions but I break out in a cold sweat as I think of all the different possibilities. Akitsu said that she was no longer useful. Could there have been something different about her from all the other Sekirei? If that were the case what did that kid want with her? While most Sekirei are winged by someone they react with, the professor said that because a simple kiss is all that is needed to wing a Sekirei, they can be forcefully winged. Was that what that brat wanted to do? Was he even aware of the fact that there could have been something potentially wrong with Akitsu that could put her at a disadvantage? He had to of at least known the fact that she was a Sekirei, meaning he was an Ashikabi. Even with all that taken into consideration, why did she not tell me anything about Sekirei in the first place? Could there be more to this 'game' than mere 'friendly' competition to see who is the strongest.

I tried to work through the day as best I could but I could not escape the unsettling feeling I got from all the things I was thinking about. I might have gotten myself into something troublesome and potentially dangerous. The more I pondered on these things the more I wanted to talk to Akitsu about them. I can't really tell from her facial expressions, whether it was simply her apathetic attitude towards the things around her or a genuine fear; could she have been trying to protect me from all this from the beginning by keeping quiet this whole time? I wanted to know, I wanted to learn more as soon as I could. I worked through lunch so I could finish faster. Normally it would be difficult to work like this on an empty stomach, but my mind was elsewhere the entire day. Akitsu has some explaining to do.

Later that evening as Minato walked the public park on his way home, he saw quite a number of MBI vehicles at the main gate. Now these were not merely police cars armored vehicles intended for transporting assault teams. The park itself was not destroyed by anything remotely artificial or man made but by what was surely a showcase of the awe-inspiring power of nature itself. It was an unconceivable overgrowth of the plant life of the park that was at fault for the odd spectacle.

The MBI squad men were merely keeping civilians from entering the inhospitable jungle, at least that what it would look like at first glance. Minato suspected that there was also a division inside the overgrowth investigating the scene for any clues that could lead to the cause of the overgrowth… and any other activity that may have occurred. Minato noticed that some of the bush had been damaged and scorched. Nothing was actually burnt by some kind of fire, but there were parts that were blackened, as if hit on impact.

Minato didn't stick around long. He assumed there would be a story on the spectacle later that evening on the news. It was time to head home after a long day of work, an empty stomach, and a troubled mind. He didn't know what he wanted more, sleep… or to see Akitsu.

"She was really young, that girl at the park."

"Yes she was, and she was winged by one of the more powerful Ashikabi's as well. He already has an ex member of the disciplinary squad."

"An unfortunate fate, to fall into the hands of spoiled child merely looking for something to entertain him with."

"The child had a vital counterpart. She is still unable to control her power fully; her 'brother' as she says has the appropriate tools to maintain her. Perhaps with an Ashikabi they will stabilize a bit more, but I can't say for sure as she was forcibly winged, no telling what that will do to someone her age."

"No doubt her brother will go looking for her. Hopefully he will not fall prey to the same fate as she has. This Ashikabi will prove to be quite the nuisance if he obtains his powers as well. A sad nigh this is." A door is heard being opened followed by a 'tadaima'. "Minato-san is home late."

"Miya-san, good evening." Minato greets, exhausted but politely. "Good evening Matsu-san"

"Good evening Minato-san, and welcome home." Miya greets warmly with a genuine smile.

"Good evening Minato-san!" Matsu greets with a giggle of perversion. "You must be feeling tired after a long day of hard work. Would you like to take a hot bath? I could wash your-", Matsu was unable to finish describing the latest of her fantasies as her head was met violently with Miya's legendary soup ladle.

"Plotting to deliberately disobey my rules right in front of me? Do you believe that I am so far along in my years that I would not hear, Matsu-chan?"

"Of course not Miya-san, I was merely joking!" Matsu cowered as the hanyo mask appeared behind Miya. Minato decided to take the opportunity to leave as Miya's attention was focused on Matsu. God knows who else could fall victim to her wrath.

"Minato-sama! Welcome home!" Minato was greeted with a monstrous bear hug by the innocent Sekirei known as Musubi. Minato desperately tried to break free for fear that the landlady would stumble upon the scene and find something 'questionable' about. After the scolding she gave to Matsu, surely she would not be forgiving.

"Good evening Musubi-chan." Gasping for air, he managed to break free somehow.

"I missed you Ashikabi-sama! Was work difficult today?" Musubi asked with a cheerful expression and a gleam in her eyes. Her smile was radiant and proof of the fact that she had far too much energy for this time of night. Although Minato could not lie; it was all very refreshing.

"I missed you as well Musubi, and well no more than usual. However it was strenuous as it is normally is. All I really want to do is sleep for now."

"You look it. I went ahead and prepared your futon for you. Rest up to regain your strength, that way you can enjoy your day off tomorrow."

"Thank you for the thought, I appreciate it. By the way, have you seen Akitsu?"

"Akitsu-san? I believe she's outside."

"Thank you Musubi, good night." Minato heads toward his room, sliding the door open, but keeping the lights off. The moonlight is enough to illuminate the walkway outside the rooms that have back entry. The light was bright enough to see the outline of a woman's body sitting down on the path.

I hear Minato-sama enter the room behind me. I didn't go out to greet him as he arrived, as much as I wanted to. For some reason I couldn't face him. It was the strangest feeling, as if he had discovered a truth that was purposely kept hidden from him, and was angry about it. The door directly behind me slides open and Minato sits down next to me, but doesn't look at me. He has something he wants to talk about. It should have been made obvious after this morning.

"Hello Akitsu." I hear him say. It wasn't a greeting, it didn't feel like one. Saying it just to be said, merely wanting to skip over the formalities.

"Hello Mina-" he cuts me off.

"I've wanted to ask you something, Akitsu, since this morning actually." I knew it. There was way I would have been able to hide it, and now he's upset that I did.

"About the Sekirei plan? Or about me being a Sekirei?"

"The latter actually. Why didn't you tell me about it? I mean this whole time we've been together and not once did you mention anything. Didn't you think I at least had the right to know?" It's hard to notice, but I could hear his tone gradually getting sharper ever so slightly as his speech became faster with each word he spoke. His attention was focused fully on me

"I'm sorry, Minato-sama, I thought it would be best if you didn't know about any of it. That way you couldn't be held accountable for anything and you wouldn't have to be part of this. But when you winged Musubi, that all became impossible." I fidget uncomfortably. Minato was hardly ever upset over anything. He would normally just let things roll right off his back. I suppose this isn't something that he can just let go.

"Aren't you a Sekirei? When you and I met wasn't I already involved in all this? That Mikogami brat, he was an Ashikabi too wasn't he? He saw us together, you left with me, and all of his Sekirei saw it happen. Wasn't I already involved in all this when that happened?" He's nearly glaring at me right now, eyebrows furrowed.

"Not necessarily. You see, as you may have guessed, I am a bit different from the other Sekirei."

"The crest on your forehead, what does it mean?" As I thought, I still don't want to tell him. I don't have much of a choice here, not if I want Minato to trust me again. I didn't want to tell him about this part of me.

"I'm a broken product, I told you that once before. I am not truly part of the 'project' for one main reason; I can not recite a Norita, therefore I can not be winged and can not have an Ashikabi." I look down and away. It wasn't my fault, the doctors said, they couldn't figure out why I am like this. None the less, I can't help but feel ashamed about it.

"So, because of that, it was likely that MBI wouldn't contact us, as I wouldn't technically be an Ashikabi?" I nod my head yes, as that was what I truly believed, or rather hoped was true. His tone has softened a bit.

"That is correct Minato, you could never be my Ashikabi, or anyone else for that matter." My voice is barely louder than a whisper as I finished that last statement. I felt my strength leaving me as a said it.

"Well if that were the case… why didn't you just leave? I mean I'm not stupid, I could tell that this 'project' isn't simply a test of strength. I'm sure there are those that would take it further than that. If that's true, why would you stay?" I don't want to look at him, I don't want to face him, I don't want him to see me right now.

"I wanted to be next to you Minato. You said that I could stay next to you." An awkward silence falls between us. I don't know why I said that. Sure he did tell me that but I can't throw that in his face, not when I've been lying to him all this time. "Perhaps I should go. I've given you enough trouble as it is." I close my eyes waiting for a response waiting for anything. I feel my heart pounding in my throat as I'm met with silence. I pick myself up getting ready to go. My throat hurts. Before I can leave though, Minato grabs my hand. My heart skips a beat.

"You don't have to leave. You can stay, for however long you want. I won't send you away." I almost don't even realize it; Minato is now standing behind me, arms wrapped around my waist, hands clasped over mine. I don't know how long we stayed like that. I almost wished it would never end. His body made me feel warm, something I never get to feel, being the Sekirei of ice. I don't ever want to forget this feeling, nothing could ever replace it.

We went to bed without saying anything to each other. I wanted to know what was going on in his mind. I know he isn't asleep. His breathing hadn't changed so I knew he was awake. We made it through the one thing I feared above most and so I am glad, but I still wanted to ask him something. I still wanted to know.

"Minato-sama, are you awake?"


"Can I ask you something?"

"What is it?"

"How did you like your lunch today?"

"I didn't have it. I worked through lunch to get back home sooner. I gave it to someone. I think his name was Seo or something."

"Oh… ok." It's just as well I suppose. It probably would not have tasted good since I made it. I've never prepared a meal before so it could not have been good. I shifted back over to my futon and turn my back. My throat hurts.

A/N: so what do you think? Please review.