The dreary sky lifted up while Teito and Frau breezed through the air mounted on the stolen Hawkzile. It had been a few hours since their escape from the Imperial Palace and surprisingly, no pursuers were after them. The sun has now set and the Barsburg Church was already in view. Ever since they left the enemy territory, the little girl became more and more restless that Teito had a hard time to calm her down. But when she got tired from all the struggling, she fell asleep in Teito's arms.
"Phew…" Teito sighed, wiping off sweat from his forehead. "She finally settled down?" Frau asked, looking at the young man over his shoulder and the fluffy creature with him. "Well, yeah…" he checked again at the girl who was soundly asleep, though her brows were furrowed in discomfort. "Just what is she? What was she doing in that place? And why did she want to stop you from leaving…?" Teito just shrugged. "All I know is that she's somehow—" he was about to spill Ayanami's unusual attachment to the girl when he remembered his piercing glare that it somehow gave him the chills. "Somehow…?" Frau probed on, curious. "W-Well…that's… Ah! It's Castor-san and Labrador-san…!" he pointed at a distance and Castor and Labrador were indeed waiting for them by the gates.
"I'm glad you made it in one piece…" Labrador said with a gentle smile the moment they went off the Hawkzile. "Hm? What are you carrying, Teito-kun…?" Castor asked, noticing the clump of fur he was holding. "Well…" Teito trailed off, hesitant. "Anyway, let's leave that for later. You must be tired from everything that happened today so let's get in for the meantime." Teito just nodded in agreement.
Castor asked some sisters to arrange a room for the little girl but Teito insisted to just put her in his room. When he laid her down his bed, she almost looked like a balled-up blanket from her sleeping position. "Ayanami-sama…" she mumbled through her sleep; it came out as a sob, though, but her words immediately caught the three bishops' attention. "Hey, brat. I was asking you about her a while ago… What made you so hesitant to say something? She must be a spy sent by that Ayanami." Frau said, eyeing the girl suspiciously. "Um… She's not a spy, I'm sure… The reason I can't tell you what I know about her is because it's…kinda hard to say…" Teito said, also looking at the white cat-girl. Mikage was also curious about her that he'd stare at her in wonder.
In the end, Teito told them that the little fluff ball was some kind of a pet of Ayanami that he seemingly holds dear. "…he even glared at me when I merely grabbed her arm… I guess that was also the reason he didn't attack me and Frau while we were escaping…" Teito finished explaining. Castor's and Labrador's faces were blank and their jaws were dropped open with what they just heard. As expected, Frau was on the floor, holding his stomach in laughter. "S-Seriously?! That cold-faced and stiff guy Ayanami?! That's just so plain hilarious…!" Frau chortled, banging his fist on the floor, tears lining the sides of his eyes.
Meanwhile, aboard in Ribidzile and in his throne, Ayanami suddenly felt like he heard Frau's voice drowning in a feat of laughter and it made him clench his fists that were just resting on the arm of the chair until a moment ago. It irked him to think of the rotten bishop's utterly unpleasant face as he laughed his ass off upon learning about his favorite.
Ayanami was quiet for the whole time, cracking his brains on how to retrieve his adorable and beloved pet. He wasn't thinking the least bit about Miroku-sama's words of giving top priority to Teito Klein's recapture over "personal belongings". He just couldn't agree with him and that made him even more infuriated.
Back in the church, the girl's soft pair of ears twitched when she slowly got aware of the noise around her. Mikage saw this and scampered right up to Teito's shoulder. "Hm? What's wrong, Mikage…?" he asked and saw the mound of fur move. "She's awake." His statement jerked Castor's and Labrador's frozen stiff heads to the direction of the girl while Frau scrambled up his feet to take a good look at the creature in topic.
Slowly, the little girl sat up, the bell on her collar rang as she moved, rubbed her eyes, and looked up at the unfamiliar faces. "Where…am I…?" she asked, her ears dropping, when she noticed that she was in a place she knew nothing about. Instead of feeling sorry for her, the four, instead, found bliss and warmth with her purity and fluffiness. She almost looked like a lost cat looking for her home. "I-I think I can partly understand his feelings…" Castor muttered, not believing he'd ever say those words himself. "She's so adorable I want to cuddle her…" Labrador mused. "Irresistible, right…?" Teito added. "I can never win over this one…" Frau muttered.
The girl looked around and her eyes began to well in tears. "Ayanami-sama…? Where's Ayanami-sama…?" she asked, her voice shaking that got the four in a state of panic. "S-Say, do you remember me…?" Teito asked in an attempt to distract her. The girl looked at Teito, apprehension clear in her eyes, but her ears perked when she recognized him. "You're that onii-chan in the guarded room…!" she said, pointing at him. "That's right… We won't hurt you so don't cry, okay…?" But his words didn't seem to have taken effect since she suddenly looked sad again. "Will Ayanami-sama come get me…? I'm scared of this place… I must not be here…" Teito glanced at the bishops in worry so Castor stepped up that made the girl back away, wary of him. "You don't have to be scared… This place will protect you. If you go back to that place, the people there might harm you…" he explained in a mellow tone. "But I need to go back to that place! I want to go back to where Ayanami-sama is…!" she exclaimed, though she was still cautious of them. "Just let her be… She will just forget all about that place after a few days here." Frau said. "Don't worry. You'll eventually like it here… You must be hungry by now. Shall we proceed to the dining hall?" Labrador suggested and everyone agreed.
The girl was only familiar with Teito's face so she didn't ever dare to leave his side. Fortunately, she had been a good girl during dinner and didn't claw at anyone. What's more, she seemed to get along just fine with Mikage. However, after dinner, she just suddenly disappeared. Mikage was nowhere to be found either so they had to search for her throughout the church. While Teito was walking on a corridor, he heard something scurrying towards him so he stopped on his heels and waited. He prepared himself for whatever that may come his way but the scurrying just turned out to be Mikage.
"It's just you, Mikage…" Teito said, letting out a sigh of relief. Mikage climbed up Teito's shoulder and pulled on his hair, as if telling him to move. Confused, Teito followed Mikage's instructions and he led him to the garden where he saw the little girl sprawled on the grass. From afar, she looked like she was just sleeping but when Teito came close, he saw the visible frown in her face as if she was in pain. Her breathing was fast and irregular, too. "What happened? Hey, are you okay…?" Teito asked but the girl didn't respond so he carried her and brought her to his room.
After a while, Frau and the others arrived in his room, too. "What happened to her…?" Castor asked. "I don't know. She was already like this when I found her at the garden…" Teito replied. "She looks pale…" Labrador noticed with a worried face. "Did she probably eat something bad…?" Frau asked. "But this never happened before… Teito-kun, what else do you know about her aside from, well, being Ayanami's pet…?" Castor asked. "I didn't really have the chance to ask her since I was locked up the whole time… " Teito said. "Hm… It's just kind of weird to find a creature like her in that place…"
"Do you think she's becoming like this because she was separated from that place…?" Frau asked. "It's just a gut feeling but…she did mention that she needed to go back to that place right…?" Castor explained. "And she also mentioned that she mustn't be here…" Labrador added. "What is the connection, though…?"
Back in the Imperial Palace, tremors were suddenly felt one after another that it was almost weird since nothing like that occurred before. It particularly intrigued Miroku.
A/N: What's going on in the Imperial Palace? What will happen to little neko-chan now? Is her being unwell, in fact, related to the unusual tremors in the Imperial Palace? What kind of plan will Ayanami come up with to retrieve his poor little fluff ball? Please review and let me know about your thoughts… –Geiru :3