A/N: Sorry for the late update and really, I didn't think so many would be interested in this. Thank you for the reviews and alerts. Hope to have them coming, haha :) You can ask, critique, and appreciate. ^-^ Anyway, hope you like this chapter and will reply to everyone soon. Right, any grammatical errors will be corrected soon, for now my most precious bed is calling out to me.
His eyes snapped open and he lurched forward as he gasped for breath. A trembling hand grasped his throat and he stared wide-eyed at his surroundings. Nothing was there; everything was the same—as it should be. He looked down, and stared at his lap, his breathing still laboured but much of his emotions were calmer than before.
What was it? Part of his hair covered his eyes as he contemplated. Why did it continue to haunt him so? He didn't want to venture into that unknown place, because he knew, there would be no turning back once he did. What lay beyond that abyss he refuses to acknowledge, its existence unknown to him, but defying everything he believed in—it's too much to say the least.
Ayanami breathed in deeply. This kind of matter was of no consequence to him. They were merely reminders of his impending doom. A smirk graced his lips. As if he wasn't already aware of that. To be forced to know who he really was just a waste of his precious time.
He moved to get off the bed when he stopped abruptly. He was forgetting something for some reason or another. What was it? Ayanami shook his head, he was just thinking too much. He stood and quickly went about his day. Only a day had passed since the fall of the Kingdom of Raggs—many things had yet to be done. To assess the current state of Raggs, and look for the Eye of Mikhail, were what he needed to do. All others could wait. The metallic doors opened and he stepped forward only to stop as quickly as he could.
"Teito-kun! Stop running around! Aya-tan will get mad if—oh Aya-tan! Good morning!"
Hyuuga saluted as he ran past him before chasing after the child. Ayanami stay rooted to his spot, bewildered for a moment, when everything returned to him. Ah yes, the Chairman kindly asked him to 'take' care of the child for the time being as he was occupied with the army. As if he didn't have his own matters at hand, his superior just had to dump that kind of trivial responsibility on him.
Ayanami was a commanding officer and compared to the Chairman, he actually had more things to take care of. Sometimes Miroku just enjoys abusing his authority. Ayanami glared at nothing in particular, why was he stuck 'babysitting' some child he could care less about? A feeling of hesitance came over him; there was that strange pull again. It was all because of that child, he was certain of it.
Ever since he became aware of the kid's existence, he was becoming more unsettled. In all honesty, he should just rot in hell, for all he cared. He was an annoyance and he had no room in his life. His once calm features morphed into a glare. It was unacceptable, and until he could keep him at bay, he will do so, until he would no longer intervene.
"Teito-kun! You have to eat! Come back here!"
Hyuuga's shouts reverberated across the hall, and his raging emotions were immediately replaced with irritation. Sighing, Ayanami bent down and easily caught the running child. Pink cheeks and a bright smile greeted him. Green eyes shone in the light and he could only look away once again. That kind of expression directed towards him just wasn't right. It definitely wasn't.
"Ayanami! You're awake!"
Teito gushed excitedly, his small hands reached forward and settled on his face. Said man stared at the child with disinterested eyes, his mask placed back on, once the commotion reached his ears. Footsteps neared him, and that familiar laugh he abhorred at times, was heard.
"Man, you run too fast, Teito-kun. You could give Aya-tan a run for his money!"
He glared at Hyuuga who stopped for a second before a smile was plastered on his face.
"Teito-kun hasn't eaten since we brought him back last night." Hyuuga answered his unspoken question, as he stared at the beaming brunet in his arms. Teito stared at him curiously, his once lively countenance quieted down after greeting him. Just like yesterday. It was as if the child knew that peace and quiet were what he wanted from him. For this, he was able to tolerate the child, even though all he wanted was to get rid of him. He was becoming quite rowdy since Ayanami first met the child.
"You will eat, understand?"
He stated crisply and Teito only nodded obediently. With the child cradled in his arms, he walked down the hallways of their base, towards the dining area. As much as he rarely eats, setting an example for this kid would do good. It would be a pain to hear his lieutenant's screams every now then. He never wanted to hear them again. Period.
Hyuuga followed behind him silently, though occasionally whistling here and there. He didn't mind, as long as his damned comrade would stop calling him by that wretched name. That, and stopping himself from actually making it his life's goal to piss him off every hour of the day. It would be great change, indeed.
They settled themselves in their respective seats, while the small brunet sat at his lap. As much as he hated for anyone touching him, Ayanami, unfortunately, didn't have a choice. The chair was too low for the young child and it would be impractical—to say the least—to make Teito eat on his own.
"Right, Aya-tan, a meeting will be held in two hours."
His pale, violet irises slid towards the owner of the voice and Hyuuga shrugged.
"Protocol, they say. The usual Raggs matter, I guess. The damages at the northern border were massive. We'll have to clean up for them again."
Ayanami quietly ate his meal, not bothering to answer. His subordinate seemed fine with the silence, opting to amuse himself by feeding Teito.
Another massive cleanup for his unit again, wasn't it? His hold on his bread tightened for a second. It was only for a moment and was only a miniscule change in his demeanor, but Ayanami knew, Hyuuga was able to notice. His lieutenant, no matter how much he annoyed him to hells deep, he understood him well. He smirked sardonically. Everyone knew that he abhorred the protocol meetings of the commanding officers and the other higher ups.
Most of his higher ups just loved putting him on the spot—treating them like dogs. His smirk darkened. If only they knew, it was the exact opposite. Of course, Miroku knew that well. That's why no matter how unreasonable his orders were, Ayanami did them without fail. He was a needed piece in his plans and the Chairman knew and understood. Using each other was of no consequence to either of them. An eye for an eye. His wayward thoughts stopped abruptly as he felt a thug on his gloved hand. He looked down and was met with bright, green eyes.
Teito uttered unsurely and for some reason, he was obliged to reply.
The brunet fidgeted in his lap for a second before breathing in, his cheeks puffed up before breathing out. An eyebrow rose in curiosity but he remained silent.
"Are you mad?"
Teito stared him in the eyes and he felt stunned for a moment.
"And why should I be?"
The child clenched his fists before grasping his right hand. Hyuuga stared at them, amused. Ayanami ignored him. His lieutenant's amusement really knew no bounds and feeding said amusement would be his downfall someday.
"You look unhappy."
Teito uttered, his statement affecting him more than it should. Unhappy? He smiled, amused, not noticing Hyuuga's surpised expression. Ayanami...smiling? The raven-haired man sighed as he leaned on his hand, a rare sight, indeed.
The young one frowned and pointed at himself.
"You looked like this!"
Teito exclaimed and while Hyuuga shouldn't be laughing, it really was too funny. The commanding officer of the Black Hawks, the Chief of Staff Ayanami, feared and disliked by many was being made fun of by a mere child. It was just too...his laughter stopped abruptly, pale blue eyes widened, and he swore his jaw dropped to the floor.
Ayanami, his master, leader, and everything else in between, was laughing.
Laughing... Ayanami was and he found himself staring in disbelief. As much as he wanted his leader to be happy, the sight was just too disturbing for his liking. Ayanami and laughing did not go in one sentence. It was illegal, horrid, and just...okay...His eyes closed and a grin spread across his lips.
Maybe, the horrible sight of his master laughing wasn't so bad, so long as Ayanami doesn't do it often. He'd rather see him glaring and being a stuck-up ass than laughing, actually. A glare was immediately directed towards him and his Cheshire grin widened. Right, Aya-tan could read his mind. Hyuuga innocently smiled as he heard his leader's message spoken through his mind.
Hyuuga...Said man could definitely feel the laughter bubbling in the surface.
You will shut up, yes?
As you wish, Aya-tan.
"His majesty had already sent out his men yesterday to ensure all survivors were held captive. The army is left with the duty of making sure no revolt would come to play. The Eye of Mikhail, after all, has yet to be found."
Ayanami listened intently as unresolved matters were discussed one by one. Though he abhorred being in the same room as these pathetic men, his duty to his country was an important factor in his life.
"I see. I presume, Ayanami-san was unable to retrieve the Eye of Mikhail, correct?"
Admiral Oak addressed him as if accusing him. Some others were smiling arrogantly, as if pleased with his inadequacy to find the Eye.
"Yes, nothing was found during our search."
He stated simply. Ayanami found no reasons to make excuses, or make himself seem as if he was ashamed of being unable to complete his mission.
"Ayanami shouldn't be given this mission, then. He failed in obtaining the Eye of Mikhail, when it was the perfect time to retrieve it from the Royal Family."
Another General sneered in malice and disgust. Ayanami didn't even feel the least bit affected. To stoop as low as what they were doing, was just plain pitiful, and he wouldn't degrade himself by taking their bait
"I agree. It would be unwise to let Ayanami and his unit to take this mission."
Ayanami felt Hyuuga tensing behind him. Do not be baited. He spoke through his mind and Hyuuga calmed down just as quickly.
"What do you think, Chairman?"
Sitting at the head of the table, said man leaned on his crossed fingers, his red eyes regarding everyone calmly.
"I believe Ayanami-kun would be the most fit to handle this mission. His expertise and capabilities would be most beneficial."
Miroku stated curtly as silence reigned. Ayanami smirked at this. Of course, no matter how much they protest, the Chairman would always have the last word.
"I will make sure that I find it in due time, Chairman Miroku."
The dark glint in his eyes matched that of Miroku's. It was a silent agreement and no one can interfere.
It was past midnight when he found himself sitting on his bed, reading reports when he knew, he should be sound asleep. Sleep wasn't necessary when more pressing matters were at hand. That, and the fact that sleep did not come by easy for someone like him. He leaned back on the dashboard, only to straighten up once again, his eyes narrowed into slits as, he approached his door cautiously. His hand was raised ready to unleash his zaiphon when he was met with a small child—Teito. He stared at him, deadpanned as the brunet stood outside his room, clutching his pillow and his feet bare.
"It's late, you should be asleep."
He stated coldly yet Teito didn't flinch like he thought he should. Instead, he looked up at him, his eyes steady on his. Somehow, he was reminded of someone, but quickly dismissed the idea.
"C-Could I sleep with you, A-Ayanami?"
The child stuttered, nervous as he fidgeted. Honestly, he didn't understand what was wrong with this child. To be feared was something was accustomed to yet this young one...he always came to him—seeking his attention. It was strange, and for the life of him didn't understand why he would say what he was about to say.
"You will sleep right away, understand?"
Teito nodded excitedly, before hurrying off to his bed, his small feet padding noisily on the floor. Ayanami suppressed the urge to sigh. He had to make sure his lieutenant doesn't know of this. It would surely equal to weeks of irritation on his part.
Walking towards his dresser, he changed quickly. He had this vague feeling that the child wouldn't be sleeping without his presence. He was sure companionship was what Teito was seeking for when he came to him. Ayanami sat at the brunet's side; half-lidded eyes stared at him as a yawn spew from a small mouth.
He remained silent. What did Teito want now?
He nodded and it seemed to satisfy him as his eyes slowly closed, and his breathing evened out. Ayanami moved to lie beside him and opted to watch as Teito peacefully slept. What was with this child that seemed to lull him in a way so different from others? He felt his eyes closing, exhaustion finally creeping in. That unidentifiable pull—he could feel it—gently calling out to him. So different from his calls. While his were violent, forceful, desperate, distorted, this one was warm, gentle, and...beautiful.