A/N:- I don't own MSN or Sekirei.
The next day that I went to the Hospital for my daily shift, I had taken one of the cars that my mother had provided me with. I didn't want to subject Chiho to a public mode of transportation in her current state, the weather report for today said that it might rain in the evening. Throughout the whole day, as I was going through my duties, my mind kept wandering to the mysterious girl that I had met yesterday. It had been bugging me, so I had performed my own scan of the city, similar to the one that Takamichi had performed. But the results were the same, as Takamichi had said, there were no other Magical folk in the city. This didn't help me at all.
There was also the small matter of my magic acting up. Ever since I had met her yesterday, I could feel an irritating itchy feeling. Like there was something that I had forgotten to do . . .
Looking at my watch, I realized that it was nearly time for lunch. Not wanting to linger around in the canteen, a place where there was far too much noise, I simply opted to skip lunch. Wandering about, I got the sudden urge to visit the rooftop again, the itchy feeling that I had since yesterday, finally settling into something that could be deciphered. As I turned about and started to make my way towards the roof, I realized that the urge that I was feeling wasn't just my imagination. My magic, even though sealed, was compelling me to go there.
By the time I had realized this, I was practically sprinting towards my destination. I yanked the door open forcefully, barely aware of the top hinge that I had broken, and as I turned around to look everywhere, I felt disappointed. There was no one here.
Startled at the sudden sound, I tilted my head upwards to look at the source of the voice. It was that girl. She was sitting on the ledge of the water tank, her hair whipping around her in the wind, a cute blush on her face.
"Erm .. . hi." I managed. She was wearing the same clothes as yesterday, I noticed absently.
"What's your name?" she asked me, and I could see that she was very curious to know it. Well, there was no harm in telling her my name.
"Negi, Negi Springfield. And you are?" I asked her, making sure that my tone was polite.
"Hmm . . .odd name. Springfield." She said, a contemplative expression on her face which quickly gave way to embarrassed as if realizing that she might have insulted me. "Ah, no offence. I've never heard of a name such as that before."
I waved off her apology, my mind still contemplating the urge that I could still feel. It was like a connection, similar to the relationship between a Magister and his/her Partner. But that could only form if the Pactio Ritual was performed, never before that.
"What's your name?" I repeated my question. She was looking at me intently, and I was a little worried by the state she was in. Blushing cheeks, short ragged breaths, and subtle almost unnoticeable twitches throughout her body. If I wasn't certain that she wasn't human I would have asked her what was wrong. But my time in Magicus Mundus had taught me that no matter how cute and innocent a person appeared to be, he/she would be that much more deadly. I knew that, after all, the same could be said about me.
"Ah! S-Sorry. My name's Uzume."
"Uzume . . . ?"
I wondered why she refused to tell me her family name. Well, it was none of my business really, and I had much more important questions to ask her. Finding a new race, if such was the case, highly appealed to my bookworm side.
"You're not human, are you?" I asked her bluntly, watching her carefully for her reaction.
Her eyes widened, and she closed her mouth abruptly. Looking at her eyes, it wasn't too difficult for me to decipher the surprise reflected in her eyes.
"You're right." I heard her mumble. Though I was sure that was the case, I couldn't help the honest surprise that went through me. It was one thing to have theories, but to have them confirmed . . .
"H-Hey . . ." I exclaimed, as I saw her sway slightly on her perch. She wasn't in any immediate danger as she was of falling yesterday, but any kind of fall was best avoided. Whether they could hurt you or not.
She jumped down the significant distance to the floor of the roof, and started walking towards me, an almost desperate, longing look on her face. My mind told me to get back, but my body refused, instead moving towards her to offer her some support.
She almost collapsed against me, as soon as I was within arms distance to her. She placed her hands on my chest, her face held down, breathing harshly.
"Hey! Are you alright?" I asked her, panicking slightly. Newly found instincts driving my actions as I held my fingers against her neck to feel her pulse. It was high, dangerously high. She needed Nipride, immediately. As I shifted my hands, bringing them around her to lift her up, she looked up at me, and before I knew it, I felt a very soft sensation on my lips, and almost immediately after, she slipped her tongue inside my mouth and her body began to glow. I felt the itchy feeling pulse slightly, and then a calmness spread over me. I felt a miniscule portion of my magic flowing steadily out of me.
I stepped back as I looked at her, one part fascinated, one part readying for a fight. It was her expression that captured my attention. Her face could only be described as blissful, a beyond happy, content, and pleasured. As the glow emitting from her body lessened, I could make out 10 oddly shaped wings of light that sprouted from her back. Normally, I would have been embarrassed by the erotic sounds that she was making, but I was concentrating more on that fact that she had apparently formed a connection to me, and had stolen a portion of my power. It was a lot like performing a Pactio.
"Ashikabi-sama, I, No. 10, Uzume, will be your Sekirei, now and forever." I heard her say faintly.
"And you're sure that I'm your 'Ashikabi'." I said the unfamiliar word slowly, making sure that I got it right.
"Yes. I'm completely sure, Negi-kun." Uzume answered my question promptly.
After her freak reaction, she had calmed down considerably. I have to admit, my first instinct was to run, to get out of here as soon as I could. But, I resisted. I needed information. Plus, running away at the first sight of a problem was not something that I was inclined to do.
"But, how can you be sure? I mean, I just met you yesterday." I countered.
"You met me yesterday. I have been watching you for over 2 weeks now." She admitted.
I gaped at her admission. "You've been stalking me?" I asked her incredulously. She turned her face away, scratching her cheeks, chuckling embarrassedly. I sighed, this wasn't the first time that I was stalked, but never had one of my stalkers managed to kiss me and form some sort of a pseudo Pactio.
"You are a kind hearted person. You go beyond the call of duty to treat your patients, even if you are tired you never refuse to see a patient. You care about each and every one of them, not as your patient but as an individual person. You are obviously very wealthy, but you don't go off showing it." Uzume said passionately. I stared at her embarrassedly, she had obviously been observing me meticulously.
"So you're a Sek-" I was interrupted from completing my question as my phone started ringing. Excusing myself, I glanced at the caller name. It was un-identified, and I accepted the call, deactivating my phone's camera. I didn't accept Video calls from unknown numbers.
"Congratulations on winging your Sekirei, Negi-kun. Let me be the first one to formally greet you-"
"Who is this?" I cut off the exuberant, smug sounding man.
"Eh, you don't recognize me? Oh . . . why don't you switch to Video call and take a guess."
"My phone dosen't have a camera." I lied.
"That's impossible. A phone without an in-built camera in this day and age is unhea-"
I hung up.
"Who was it Negi-kun?" Uzume asked me, a curious expression on her face.
"Do you know a man, who might know about you? More specifically, he told me something about 'Winging'." I asked Uzume. The man was suspicious; first of all, he knew my cellphone number. It wasn't hard to get, one would only have to ask for it at the reception, but he knew of the exact time that Uzume had chosen me as her Ashikabi, or as I would prefer to call her, partner.
"Is there something wrong?" I asked her. As far as I could read her personality, she was a very free and cheerful person.
"I suppose I would have to tell you, I chose you after all. But, I would recommend that you don't answer his call. I'll tell you all about the Sekirei Plan." Uzume said seriously.
I picked up on her seriousness, and immediately switched off my phone, looking at her expectantly. I glanced at my watch. I had to be back at the hospital in a little less than 15 minutes.
"Is this going to take long?" I asked her.
"Err, kinda. You should probably get back to your patients. I'll meet you back at your apartment in the evening." Saying that, she jumped to the neighboring rooftop and was soon out of my sight.
'Does she even know where my . . . Right. Of course she knows where my apartment is. She's been stalking me. I wonder why I never was able to feel her presence. I may have to try harder I guess. I wonder if she has a phone.'
'Now I have to think what I am going to say to Chiho-san. Uzume's presence at my house may raise some questions. Chiho-san knows that I don't have a girlfriend. I'll just have to wing it I guess.'
"Thanks again for doing this for me." Chiho said gratefully.
I smiled at her politeness, and couldn't help but get the feeling that it would be so great if I had a little sister like that. Well, there was nothing stopping me from treating her like my little sister, provided she didn't object. Right now, I had just invited her to stay at my place, a roommate if you will. This arrangement would do for now, but as soon as the next summer rolled out; she would have to join a school of her choice. I didn't think she was even thinking about that now.
"It was my pleasure Chiho-san. Now, was there anyone else that you wanted to say good-bye to?"
"No, I said goodbye to everyone." Hearing her confirmation, I slowly maneuvered her wheelchair through the hallways of the hospital, and out of the building. I silently thanked that I had decided to bring my car, as it was raining quite heavily.
Asking the valet to get my car out of the parking I waited for him to show up.
"Done for the day, Springfield?" a voice called out from behind me. I recognized the voice, it was Nakamura.
Trying my best not to glare at him, I turned towards him. "Yes, Nakamura-san." I replied in what I realized must sound like a clipped tone.
"I was so sorry to hear about your circumstances, Chiho-chan. I truly hope you can find happiness in the time that you have left." He said, his words adding fuel to the anger that was raging in me. I caught sight of the scared expression on Chiho's face and gently squeezed her shoulder. He was crossing a line . . .
"I'm sure she will be just fine. Now if you'll excuse me. . ."
"Of course. You'd better leave, it's quite difficult to find a cab in such weather." He said, his tone condescending. I smirked as I spotted the valet get here with my car.
I turned towards Nakamura to see that he was looking at my car longingly, and was swiveling his head around a glare for the owner ready on his face.
"No worries, Nakamura-san. I brought my car to work today." Saying that I turned and began walking towards it. Looking down at Chiho, I was relieved to see that the sight of my car had distracted her from Nakamura's scathing remarks. Putting her putting her relatively small luggage bag in the trunk of the car, I gently picked up Chiho from her wheelchair before she could attempt to do it on her own, and secured her into the seat.
I grinned at Nakamura's envious face, and got in. Driving off, I caught sight of the beat down car that he was getting into, and smiled. It might be petty, but he deserved it.
"You know, Negi-kun."
"Hmm . . ?"
"I never figured you for a Sports Car enthusiast. What model is this?"
"Well, I'm no enthusiast. And this car was not bought by my own money; my parents gifted it to me. I find it easier to commute using public transport. As for the model, it's an Audi R8." I explained. Truthfully, it felt liberating to drive this car, much better than a broomstick ride. I wonder if I could make some modifications in this car . . .
"I still don't know how you don't have a girlfriend, Negi-kun. You are a good person, and a handsome doctor as well, that alone should make it easy for you to get a girlfriend. And judging by this car, you come from a wealthy family as well." Chiho said bringing me out of my thoughts about awesome flying cars.
"Well, I don't really have time for a girlfriend. And I don't go out much." I replied, curious as to her line of thought. I wasn't really surprised though, people her age, and mine placed a higher priority on finding a girlfriend than on other stuff. Come to think of it, a Magister on his first mission is supposed to find worthy, similar minded partners to help them. I didn't exactly have the time or the inclination to search for my partner on my earlier missions. And I didn't really need to find them now; I really didn't want to get back into the violent lifestyle that I had gone by until now. I had thought that this would be something that I would look forward to, but even after barely a month, I missed the thrill of fighting. . .
"You aren't . . . you know . . .gay, are you?" I had to strain myself to hear the last part of her question, but as soon as I heard it, I spluttered in indignation.
"No! I'm not. How could you think that?" I asked her agitatedly. Maybe having a little sister wouldn't be as fun as I had thought.
I was a little relieved to see that Uzume didn't seem to have come by my house; I would be able to administer the cure to Chiho, which was going to knock her unconscious for 2 days, at the most. After I helped Chiho back into her wheelchair, I showed her to one of the spare bedrooms, and told her that she could sort through her stuff later. I joined her in the dining area of the house.
"Chiho-san. You have to promise me that whatever I will tell you now, you won't repeat it to anyone else." I stated, kindly, sitting down opposite her. I didn't want her to think that I was some criminal that had tricked her into staying at my house. Watching her closely, I could see the slight amount of fear that was showing in her eyes.
"I assure you that I mean you no harm. It's just that I don't think you would take a medicine from without knowing what it was." Saying that, I took out the medicine I had acquired for her. "This is a brew that I came up with to destroy the virus in your body." It was a significantly rare draught, and I had to call in some favors that I had been owed.
Chiho didn't say anything. She kept glancing between the potion on the table and my eyes apparently searching for something.
While it was true that I wouldn't get in much trouble as I might have earlier if I were to reveal my secret to people from the Old World, I always made it a point to avoid any uncomfortable questions.
"Where did you get this, Negi-kun?" I was relieved to see that at the very least she didn't think me to be threatening.
I started my explanation, glossing over many of the events, just telling her enough so that she could be certain that I wasn't lying. I finished my explanation by uttering a small spell for her benefit, conjuring up a spirit that took the bottle over to her and in a cute voice asked if she would take the medicine.
Chiho looked at the spirit with wide eyes, then turned her head towards me, and then back to the spirit. I waited for her reaction, hoping that she wouldn't bolt, but kept a pleasant smile on my face. I admit that I was a little relieved to see her smile back at me and nod her head at the spirit.
Uzume stretched languidly as the alarm that she had set to wake her up in time to meet her Ashikabi-sama blared in her room.
She had found him quite by accident when she was running an errand for Miya, the landlord of her rented room. She had felt herself react to him, and naturally curious, she had observed him for some time. She had fled the MBI Headquarters ahead of time, feeling trapped within the monotonous life that she led inside. Ever since then, she had spent every waking hour, which was surprisingly only 5 hours a day, going out and wandering the streets. This had exposed her to various types of people, and she wanted to make sure that her Ashikabi was a good man.
She had been immensely happy to find out that he was.
She had been shocked when she had met him yesterday, she hadn't meant for herself to be seen. She had to wait until the game had officially started to get her wings. It was very difficult for her to bear, but it would protect him from garnering attention, and she would do anything to keep her Ashikabi safe. They were said to mean the world to Sekirei like her.
But then, he had appeared before her, his concerned eyes striking at her soul, distraction her enough that she lost her balance and fell off. She hadn't been too concerned, she could handle a fall such as that easily, but her Ashikabi, his actions had surprised her. He had jumped after her! The idiot!
Panic had taken hold in her heart, the sound of rushing winds blocking off all other noise. Acting quickly, she had used her powers, and brought them down safely. But, holding him close to her body had affected her, she could barely resist winging herself, and claiming him as her Ashikabi. She had fled.
She came to the realization that she couldn't wait any longer, and vowed to talk to him today. Her plan had been on the right track, right until she was face to face with him again. She couldn't control herself, she had kissed him, thus winging herself, tying herself to him, without even explaining anything to him. That wasn't what she had intended, she was determined to explain the situation, and ask him for his permission, but that part of her plan didn't work out as she had planned.
Putting on her clothes, struggling with her top as it caught in her breasts, she walked down the stairs and towards the door.
"Ah, Uzume-san, going out for drinks again?" came the disapproving voice of Miya from the kitchen.
Miya was a slender yet shapely woman with fair-skin and brown eyes. She had waist-length purple hair with shorter bangs in a typical priestess style. She was wearing her traditional attire of a priestess, which consists of a purple hakama, a white haori with a sash-like belt wooden sandals and a white ribbon to partially hold her hair in place. She was a little overbearing with her rules, but she wasn't going to tell her that. She kept her safe after all.
"Nope, not today. I'm meeting up with someone." Uzume replied cheerfully. Yup, she was going to meet up with her Ashikabi!
"Oh? Well, take care." Came the surprised response of Miya.
"I will!" Uzume called out as she made her way to her Ashikabi's apartment. It wasn't too far away, and she had the route memorized for a long time.