Reaction Shots


RE: Midnight Kisses

A Hayate the Combat Butler Fanfic



"Our duty, as men and women, is to proceed as if limits to our ability did not exist." – Fortune Cookie

A/N: I'd just like to thank TehSanity for inspiring this with his/her/their review to Midnight Kisses, the fic of which this is a sequel.

Chapter the First, Nagi

(a.k.a., "Hayate no Baka")


Those words heralded the beginning of a new year, and the end of an old one. The birth of one romance, and the death of some people, it was a joyous occasion. But for a select unfortunate few, it was like the world was collapsing around them.

To one person in particular, that midnight was the most dreadful midnight to ever come to pass. It was a horrible thing, a tragedy of epic proportions. To her, it seemed like everything was happening in slow motion. Time was moving like molasses on a cold winter night as her world once more fell to pieces.

This unfortunate person, one Nagi Sanzen'in, could only watch in horror, transfixed, as she saw it unfolding. It was like watching a train wreck – she could not bear seeing it happen, yet at the same time she could not bring herself to wrench her gaze from that most awful sight.

"No..." she whispered, eyes wide and glassy, unwilling to believe what she was seeing. "Hayate... no... Don't leave me..." she whimpered as she watched her butler–and not-so-secret-crush–grabbing Hinagiku and Nishizawa's asses, clumsily kneading soft, yielding fat and firm, shapely muscle beneath their dresses like so much dough. "... Hayate, you dummy..."she whimpered.

Her gut was being wrenched at the sight. Her intestines were doing contortions and her stomach somersaults. Her heart was in her throat one second, and in the pit of her abdomen the next. Her mind was racing a million miles an hour straight towards the middle of nowhere as incoherent impressions of powerful, conflicting emotions tumbled through her skull like pocket change through a washing machine. She was shivering, it seemed... and were those tears falling from her eyes?

How shameful. An utter disgrace to the Sanzen'in name.

An utter, worthless disgrace... A wretched waif deserving nothing, or so God above seemed to believe. She was, in that moment, perhaps the most piteous thing upon the face of the earth.

She clutched her chest, as if yearning to tear out her heart and crush it literally beneath her heel, to go with the figurative breaking it had just received. She was drowning in despair, right then and there. She was dead inside, wishing she could become dead to the world again, if only to shut out all this pain.

What a dreadful state of affairs.

She growled. There, in her gut, born amidst the seemingly cataclysmic turmoil of her emotions, was now planted a seed of anger. In that sea of despair which was drowning her heart, she grabbed onto that emotion like a lifeline.

Heat bloomed, spreading through her body as she nurtured this frustration and jealousy. It gave her strength where before there was weakness. It let her walk where before she had to crawl. Anger was her crutch. She knew it was unhealthy, but damn it all it just felt so right.

Virulent, caustic envy. Fiery, burning fury. Frigid, oppressive hatred. Despair, fermented, became anger. Anger, focused, became hate. And hate, refined, became strength. A black, accursed strength, to be sure, which ate at one's soul and corroded one's morals–a thirsty, wailing Muramasa blade which cuts master as surely as foe–but it was strength nonetheless. And this strength drove her.

She snarled.

"Hayate..." she started, her tone dark and her eyes shining balefully.

"Hayate..." she uttered, speaking the name like it was something perfectly loathsome which left a most vile taste on her tongue.

She clenched her fists and grit her teeth. Her lips were curled and her eyes narrowed, her nostrils flared and her ears red. There was fire in her gaze, and her voice was as booming dragon-thunder.

"HAYATE YOU DUMMY!" she roared, her voice shrill yet booming with such strength that it was a wonder her petite frame could survive the dreadful, crashing reverberations. Into those words she poured all of her anger, all of her hate, and all of her sorrow. Through that noisy, noisome exclamation, every last ounce of her passion and her emotion spilled out until nothing was left but tears and regret.

With a stifled sob, the young blonde ran off, followed shortly after by a flustered Maria.

A/N: Long author's note is long. :/ Just 300 words shorter than the actual fic part...

I started working on this last week. I typed up everything from the title to the "Chapter the First" part before suddenly getting called in to work at the Hong Kong Restaurant and Buffet to cover for Justin, one of the other dishwashers, who hadn't shown up (incidentally, this was not even half an hour after getting home from eating at the restaurant with my parents, my youngest brother, and my grandmother, the last of whom was staying in town for the week). The temperature outside was below zero, counting windchill, it was seven o'clock, and I have/had no driver's license.

So I called a cab. The ride itself was uneventful, and the final cost was $6.25. I paid seven, because I did not believe that I had any change on my person at that time.

I went into the restaurant, punched in, and went to grab an apron when, lo and behold, Justin walks in through the back door. Seeing this, I went and punched right back out. I was on the clock for all of two minutes.

I called a cab to go back home, and I ended up getting the same guy who drove me up. He took one look at me, and asked if I'd simply been going to pick up an order or something. I said no, and explained that I'd been called into work to cover for someone who ended up showing up anyways. He said something along the lines of "Ah, that's unfortunate," and drove me back home. Thankfully, he decided to consider it a round trip, which would cost nine dollars, so I only had to give him two more.

Finally, I got back home at seven thirty, went right to my laptop, and typed up this anecdote into this A/N.

It's interesting how these things'll go sometimes, eh?

As a side note, the fortune cookie quote at the start of the chapter is actually from the very fortune cookie I got after eating at the restaurant earlier that day.

Also, this Reaction Shot turned out rather bleaker and darker than I'd originally intended, but ehhh. What's done is done, I suppose... The next one (my muses willing) will probably be more lighthearted.

TTFN and R&R!