Himeno walked through the beauty and calmness that is Leafenia. Even after their fight with the princess of disaster she still liked to come back to this place and enjoy some peace and quiet. Not often, mind you, but even our lovable heroine enjoys some r & r.

She'd told her family where she was going for the night, and headed toward her rebuilt hut. Sasame had even assisted in rebuilding her hut - given he'd been the one to destroy it. She ran her fingers over the wooden door and felt the presence of one her knights come up behind her. Himeno turned to see who it was, and turned around just in time to see a sea of blue.

Hayate stepped closer, pinning her between the door and his body. Her face turned red instantly, and her mind reeled. She looked up fast enough to notice his face was red, but she couldn't look him in the eyes, she was too embarrassed.


One of his hands pressed against the door, the other turned the knob on her door and let it swing quietly inward.

"I need to talk to you," he stated finally. "Now tulip head."

"T-tulip head? You want me to do as you say and you call me - whoa!"

Himeno exclaimed as Hayate picked her up and tossed her over his shoulder, walking into the house and closing the door with his foot.

"Put me down!" Himeno demanded, elbowing Hayate in the head and earning herself a rather rough landing.

"Ow!" He barked. "Damn! It's not like I'm going to eat you!"

"If you wanted to talk you didn't have to call me names!"

"I didn't call you names, I called you tulip head, tulip head!"

"Humph!" She huffed, crossing her arms and turning away.

They stood there in silence for several long minutes, both fuming as they were used to. It was never serious, and it wasn't serious this time, but both of them were horribly stubborn. Neither wanted to admit that they'd done or said anything wrong.

"Damn," Hayate muttered. "Look… I just wanted to keep my promise."

He wasn't even looking at her as she unfolded her arms and turned back to him. She could see the pink on his face, wrapping around and turning his ears red. She reached out to touch his arm, the inquiry of what he was referring to on her lips as she stepped closer to him. The words never became sound as he turned toward her and pulled her close.

His arms wrapped around her and she felt the blood rush to her face as he embraced her. He was warm, and comforting - it was the moments like this when she was reminded just how kind and shy Hayate really was.

"I… never told you," he began, his voice soft but steady. "I promised you, I said I would tell you when I came back to you, and… with all the commotion, and thinking that I had lost you."

His voice trailed ever so slightly and she could feel his body trembling. Her face softened as she recalled the day when they'd won against the princess of disaster. Everyone had thought her dead, passed away in exchange for giving so much leafe to the world, for bringing back Sasame. She understood how painfully heart wrenching that was, and she returned his hug as he continued speaking.

"I knew in my heart, all along, the feelings that I had… But I never had the courage to put them into words, Himeno," he admitted, tilting her chin up with a single gentle finger. "And I wanted you to know." He leaned down toward her, "that," she could feel the warmth of his breath wash over her face, the scent of the wind filling the room, "I love you."

The words flooded into her ears as the passion of his gentle kiss flooded her entire body. Her feet were on the ground but her heart was soaring through the skies, supported by the very wind itself.

The kiss ended and she felt air fill her lungs, the rush of the kiss and the rush of air back into her body left her feeling light headed. It was the first kiss she'd received while conscious and she hoped it wouldn't be the last.

She looked into those deep blue eyes and knew she could look into them for the rest of her life.

"Me too," she whispered. "I love you too, Hayate."

Everything was romantic and peaceful - right up until he called her Tulip Head and she yelled at him so loudly that a couple leaves on the roof of her house fell off.