This is a story inspired by a scene in Hayate no Gotoku, where Hayate imagines Nagi without her fortune.

This takes place shortly after season 2's ending. (Hayate has not remet Athena yet)

Without furthur delay, here's the first chapter of "Following the Breeze."

Please review. All suggestions, thoughts, criticism are welcome.

This is not a self-insert fic. My first attempt at an OC. Hopefully I don't create a sue or spend too much attention on him. Any advice or flaming would be helpful.

Disclaimer: I do not own Hayate no Gotoku (Hayate the Combat Butler). Hayate no Gotoku is the property of Kenjiro Hata or Bandai Entertainment.

Miscellaneous author notes are here. I'll use this space to inform about any changes or edits to chapters.

Notes: I've added a lot to chapter 1 and a few minor corrections here and there. I feel the quality in the earlier chapters is not up to par and may have had turned a few readers away.

"Hayate! What part of I feel sick don't you understand?" The young blonde girl with two pigtails complained as she dismounted the back seat of the bike.

The butler parked the bike and secured it firmly at a designated parking spot. He chained the bike to the railing securely and turned to his mistress. He smiled back but it did not comfort Nagi in anyway who remained moody. "You sound perfectly fine to me," he said as he encouraged Nagi forward, "Now let's keep walking, Lady Nagi."

It was the first day of the new school term at Hakou Academy. Fortunately, Nagi has recovered well from her illness during the summer. No amount of love or care from Hayate or Maria will change her attitude toward school however. She was as reluctant to leave the mansion as ever during the morning. The lady was in a foul mood from the rude awakening in the morning and carried the same mood to school.

A familiar pink-haired girl walked by who gave the two a friendly wave and greeting.

"Ah, Hinagiku-san. Good Morning," Hayate said delightfully as he would meeting a close friend.

"Good Morning, Hayate-kun," Hinagiku said, equally happy to see both of them.

Nagi's arms remained crossed, and merely nodded in acknowledgment of Hinagiku's friendly presence.

"How are you today?" Hayate said as he gazed upwards, "Beautiful morning isn't it"

"Yeah, only a few wisps of cloud in sight. Good indication of a fair day," Hinagiku agreed.

She thought back to the last time she met Hayate recently. Nagi was sick and Hayate was on a quest searching around for a box of snack. She ran into Hayate and gave him some directions, but did not know the conclusion of Hayate's mission. She asked, "Did you manage to get some Packy?"

Hayate smiled sheepishly, "I'd rather not talk about that. Let's say it ended well. Lady Nagi is happy with the box of Packy I gave her."

Their conversation went on virtually ignoring Nagi. She obviously wasn't pleased with Hayate conversing with another girl. She cried out for his attention, "Hayate! Can't we get going!"

The long walk from the gate to the school buildings proper should always be the same as routine would dictate. In contrast, the usual quietness of the morning at the school gate was different. The usual sight and sounds would be small chatter between groups of friends just passing the time until the school bell rang signaling the start of the academic day.

There was a considerable crowd gathered around one spot. Usually, there would be no reason for people to group in such a way. If there were no events and it was a normal day, the walkway to the Hakuo buildings would be just a stone road with the occasional vegetation and benches for students to relax in their free time. If one were to observe more carefully, it would seem as if gathering was made up of mostly girls and they were around where a bench would be.

The sight wasn't all too pleasing for Hinagiku. It was her duty to be concerned with the general well-being of the school and the students. Anything out of the ordinary would need attention and examination. She pointed to the group of people gathering, "What's with this entire ruckus?"

Hayate examined what he saw himself and responded, "Let's go see."

Pushing through the crowd didn't prove difficult. The people there were only grouped sparsely.

A lone man sat on the bench. It was clear that he is ethnically Japanese with black hair and nothing out of the ordinary which included wearing the school uniform. For the eyes of a typical female teenager, his looks would be described as above average. A B-rank to be exact. His presence seemed to have attracted the unwanted attention of a crowd of women. The most attractive males in the academy were already taken, and his new presence and face was the next big game.

There was a line of female students lined up with some kind of notepad, phone, or method of doting down quick notes. It was possible to see clearly that he was smiling slightly towards them as a girl slowly approached him, propelling them further into a sense of ecstasy.

The girl in front was eagerly asking for something, most probably for a phone number and an email-address.

The man sighed and used the pen given to quickly write a series of numbers that would constitute a phone number and his email address. That was followed in sequence by the girl asking if he was single or not.

He responded with charm but interrupted himself when he noticed 2... no 3 people who were added to the crowd. One of those was significantly shorter than the rest. He nudged the girl aside and beckoned the girl towards him.

Nagi looked towards Hayate, unsure of how respond or what to do. There was doubt in Hayate's mind but he encouraged Nagi to go forth and meet the person who beckoned him.

The man thought for a moment as he took a good clear look at her face and stature. Maybe it was somebody he already knew, maybe not.

After a slight memory jostle the man now clearly knew what to say,

"Ah, Sanzen'in Nagi, the young but sole heir to the entire Sanzen'in fortune. I've heard a lot about you," he said with a clear smug attitude of pride.

Nagi of course, was angry at the tone of his voice, "Who are you? Why are you addressing me like this?"

He only smiled back unfazed by Nagi, "Of course, where are my manners."

He stood up and approached the small girl. At least they could see that he didn't walk in a threatening manner and was only around Hayate's height. He was wearing the normal Hakuo school uniform with the usual blue blazer and red tie so he wasn't a butler. However, Hayate still moved in front of his master ready to defend her.

The stranger simply ignored the butler. "Call me… John. I am a new transfer student here. Nice to meet you." He offered a handshake.

Nagi crossed her arms and refused to shake, "Just John? You don't have a family or something?"

He kept smiling, "That's none of your concern." He glanced at Hayate, "The way your butler acted, you've been through a lot of danger haven't you."

The sense of shock wasn't minor, "How…How did you know?"

"I pity you, being so young and helpless. A lot of people must have thought you were an easy target. You should feel more gratitude towards your butler."

Nagi flustered, "Well… I do… and…"

The school bell rang.

John was already walking away through the hole in the crowd as the girls moved aside for him still love struck. He waved without turning around, "We'll meet again. Have fun."

Hinagiku was no less surprised then the others, "Just what is he?"

Hayate stared hard at the new student, "I don't know."

The day passed by quickly, but Hayate remained restless at the previous conversation they had with the new student. Thoughts drifted in and out, "At least he isn't in our class." "I hope mistress Nagi isn't in danger." "No, I need to focus. I need to listen otherwise I could fail this." The fact that the teacher is speaking in French isn't helping with his learning.

At the end of school, Hayate escorted Nagi quickly towards the gate. She would usually go home straight away anyway, but without the sense of urgency like today.

The pair was walking so quickly that they were almost running. Of course, Nagi couldn't remain silent about this especially if Hayate gave no reason why he was in such a hurry and pulling on her arm.

Starting to become annoyed and running out of breath, Nagi stopped Hayate, "Why are we running like this?"

"It's for you safety mistress, we need to get back to the mansion."

"I don't see anything going on."

"Please, that John guy is obviously a threat."

" Huh? Him? Why?"

"Well… I'm not sure either but the way he acted, it just doesn't feel right. So please come with me."

Hayate started to tug on her again, but Nagi still resisted the motion.

"We still don't know anything about him."

Hayate pondered for a moment, "You're right but…"

"Besides, he only met us so he has no idea of our weaknesses or strengths. So we should be gathering information ourselves as well."

Hayate applauded, "Brilliant, mistress. Let's see if Hinagiku knows anything about this guy."

The pair exited the elevator, expecting to see just Hinagiku and her usual entourage there. However, the person they wanted to talk about was already there and the last person they wanted to see. John had apparently beaten them there and somehow wanted to talk to the student president at the same time. Of course, Nagi and Hayate seem surprised.

John simply interrupted his conversation with the president and greeted the two, "Ah, Miss Sanzenin, perhaps you could help persuade the president here."

Nagi didn't share his upbeat tone, "What do you want from Hina?"

"Nothing significant. Can't a simple student venture a little into student politics? Isn't that supposed to be encouraged?"

Hinagiku didn't share his view, "I appreciate your enthusiasm for the student council, but we vote for our positions here. You cannot simply come here and ask for a place. Besides, isn't this tower off-limits to non-council members?"

John laughed, "I have my ways. Then what about, Mr. Hayate here? I don't recall him running for any election, but why does he come here often then?"

Nagi was not pleased to hear that, "Hayate!"

Before the lady could unleash her wrath, Miki, a council member came rushing through the door. "We have an emergency! Someone's been found dead!"