Warning: this fic may contain spoilers. Don't read it if you are an anime-only fan or if you still haven't read at least up to ch. 301 of the manga.
Disclaimer: I don't own Hayate no Gotoku! (a.k.a. Hayate the Combat Butler!) or any of its characters. Hata-sensei does. :)
The new anime airs on Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012. Less than two months from now!
She made a decision, but her heart is too stubborn to accept it.
Chapter 758: A simple flower can be defenseless against the will of a goddess
Friday, September 16th, 4:30 PM.
Student Council Room
Hinagiku was troubled. Not only troubled, but also confused and sad. She had locked herself into the Student Council room and made sure nobody would bother her by placing a very clear sign on the door:
DO NOT ENTER.
I'm very busy.
Student Council president
She sighed. The Student Council President really had many things to do, but at the moment she found herself unable to move a finger.
"Why?" She questioned herself. "Why? Why?" Hinagiku tightened the grip on the pillow she was holding and shut her eyes trying to hold back the tears that threatened to spill over.
Why is Hinagiku-san so down? Perhaps we should go back a few hours to understand.
Hina had really tried to put herself into her work in order to try to forget her problem, but she just couldn't concentrate. She ended up making so many mistakes while filling out paperwork that she ended up crumpling them up in frustration and throwing them into a nearby wall.
Then, she began walking around in circles while blabbing nonsense to herself, as if trying to convince her heart that she had to make a decision, for the sake of her own sanity and for his sake. Perhaps his sake more than her own. In actuality, her decision had already been made, but her heart just couldn't accept it.
Her eyes suddenly turned to a certain place in the room. The sight made her face turn pale, but her heart started to beat faster as certain memories were brought back to her. It took her almost a minute to realize she was standing there and staring blankly at the balcony like a fool. The girl shook her head and took a few steps forward before hesitating.
"What am I doing? I know I won't be able to go there… I won't…I can't…"
Was the thought that was pounding through her head, but her feet started moving on their own. Before Hinagiku knew it, she was standing right there. The place of the Hakuou Academy she feared the most; the balcony on the top of the clock tower. It was a terrifying view to her. She shut her eyes, trying not to panic.
"Why am I doing this? What am I trying to…"
She clenched her fists. Only once had she been able to look at the view. Only once and never again. The only time she managed to stand there without feeling that overwhelming fear. It seemed so long ago, yet the memories were flashing so lively in front of her closed eyes. She wanted to feel that moment again, even if it was just a tiny bit of it.
At the time, when Hinagiku had been at the terrace with Hayate, she had been afraid. The view had been scary; the vastness of the horizon had made her feel small and vulnerable, but it also had amazed her. The buildings, the lights, the signs; she didn't know how such simple things could be so beautiful; how love could be so comforting.
"I can't look if he doesn't hold me," a small voice hadkept saying in her mind. Hinagiku tried her best to ignore it.
Hoping that the memory itself would be enough to give her courage, Hinagiku slowly opened her eyes. She wanted to assure herself that she would be able to move on.
Again, the once beautiful view turned into the nightmare the poor girl was so used to. Her head started to spin and her heart began to pound even faster, but for different reasons. Her knees faltered and she threw herself backwards into the council room as fast as she could.
Breathing hard, Hinagiku then found herself awkwardly splattered on the floor. She grasped her chest as if trying to stop her heart from coming out of her throat.
"No… I… Can't…"
She crawled to the sofa that was in the middle of the room and grabbed a pillow. She embraced it as if her life depended on it. She hated the thought, but she was clinging to it as if the pillow was… Hayate.
The thought finally managed to calm her down. The Student Council president then stood up quickly, realizing how stupid she probably looked. A feeling of pure anger washed over her briefly. She felt like ripping the pillow in pieces and throwing it away.
But that feeling passed as quickly as it came, and she suddenly felt… empty.
Her mind simply turned pitch black. Blank.
She sat on the couch still holding the pillow.
And that is how we found the troubled Student Council president at the beginning of this story.
Finally, Hina gave up and let the tears that she had been so desperately trying to hold back spill from her eyes. It was too much for her. She had lost… her own feelings were stronger than her and that thought made her even more depressed.
With her face buried in the pillow, she sat there in silence for a few minutes.
"Mou… Why am I crying?" She finally muttered and dried her eyes with the sleeve of her school uniform. "I shouldn't let this affect me so badly…"
Hinagiku sighed while slowly lowering the pillow to her side and trying to remember how she ended up like this to begin with.
One month earlier, she had made up her mind. She would express her feelings toward Hayate before Ruka or someone else could do it before her.
Still, whenever Hina approached him, she just couldn't say the right thing. A few days should have been enough for her to gather courage, she had thought, but soon, that proved to be her biggest mistake.
Suddenly, a noise brought Hinagiku back to reality. Someone, ignoring her sign, had entered the room. To say she was annoyed was an understatement, but she didn't really care anymore. The Student Council president was ready to scold whoever the intruder was…
She looked up and, with a gasp she saw the very person she least wanted to see. Rather… The second, since she could never allow Hayate to see her like this.
The person who, indirectly, caused her to reach such a miserable state…
The Hakuou Academy Board Chairman, Tennousu Athena.
Athena looked slightly puzzled at the sight, but soon fixed her eyes on Hina's face with an understanding gaze, and she smiled warmly at her.
Hinagiku just remained frozen in place. She had no idea what was going through the other girl's mind.
"Oh my…what happened? You look so sad," Athena finally said with a soft tone.
Hina found that there was something strange about the way she had said it, but she couldn't place her finger on it.
"Katsura-san?" She insisted.
"Great… What do I say now?" The Student Council president thought.
A long silence followed, and a small breeze came through from the balcony, making Hinagiku shiver slightly.
"This is not going anywhere…" Athena sighed and decided to try a different approach.
She sat on the couch by Hina's side and began fiddling with her hair. "You are not in a very talkative mood today, are you?" Athena spoke casually.
"Didn't you see the sign on the door?" Hinagiku said in a slightly annoyed, yet somewhat fragile voice. One might say it sounded a bit rude as well.
"Well, I did, but I thought I could give you a little help. I see you are busy with other issues instead, though," she explained. "Besides, I wanted to talk to you."
"About what?" The sad girl wondered what the Board Chairman was up to.
"Nothing in particular, I guess…" Athena said in a slightly distant voice, as if lost in her own thoughts. "Aren't friends supposed to talk about random topics from time to time, anyway?"
"You talk as if we are actually friends," Hina said without thinking but instantly regretted it.
Hinagiku looked at Athena, but she didn't seem to have taken it the wrong way.
"Mattaku… you are so mean, Katsura," she said jokingly. "I guess I can't blame you though." She paused. "I really hurt you, didn't I?"
"Ano… What exactly are you referring to?"
"I can't exactly hope that after not talking to you for so long we would be on good terms," she told her old friend sadly. "I must admit it was my fault. I was being really childish, but… I had my reasons…"
"I guess you did," Katsura responded, remembering the reason for their estrangement; a simple nickname.
If you are confused, I suggest you to re-read chapter 234. As the narrator, it's my duty to explain this kind of thing, but I'm really not in the mood. So, back to the story.
"Exactly like you have yours now," Tennousu continued. "I know it sounds stupid, but… I'm really sorry. I know I'm a little too proud, but I also know when I need to apologize."
Hinagiku chuckled slightly. "It's okay. I wasn't mad about that to begin with. It was so long ago," she said and finally looked Athena straight in the eye. "But I appreciate that. Sorry about what I said earlier. I wasn't thinking and… I didn't really mean it."
"Don't worry. I know," the Board Chairman paused and looked away, staring at the sky thoughtfully. "You're angry at me because of something else," Athena added and faced the other girl with an unreadable expression. "Rather… Someone…"
"Eto… That's not it! I mean… You've got it all wrong… I…" Hina frantically tried to respond. She was ignored by Athena, who had a teasing grin on her face.
"It's about him, isn't it?" Athena asked, with a slightly taunting tone, but didn't expect her to answer. "You don't need to hide it. I already know."
Hina slowly stopped her chibi antics and nodded timidly. She couldn't bear to look at Athena's face.
"It's nothing to be ashamed of, Katsura," Athena spoke firmly. "I know you have feelings for him. It's natural. But I just can't understand why you are acting like this. We aren't exactly together or anything."
"But how do you…" The Student Council president started, but was interrupted.
"I was Alice, remember? I'm not dense like Hayate. I can notice things, and it was quite obvious," Athena explained proudly.
"Well… Not to mention you heard me thinking about it out loud and blackmailed me..." Hina mumbled.
A stress mark appeared on Athena's forehead. "Do you want my help or not?"
"Okay… Okay…" Hinagiku nervously replied with a sweat drop on the back of her head.
Athena sighed. "You are helpless as always," she chuckled. "Just like when we first met."
"That's mean…" Hina cried in chibi form again.
"But before that… What did Hayate tell you about me?" Athena suddenly became very serious. "Don't hide anything," she added with a somewhat heavy aura.
"What's up with the mood swing?" Hinagiku thought, another sweat drop appearing as she smiled awkwardly.
Athena is the only person who can actually treat Hinagiku-chan as if she was a little child! In the next chapter: a declaration of war!
Well... this is it for now. I have no idea of why I'm actually writing this, but the plot appeared in my mind a while ago and I thought: "Well... why not?" :)
Hope you like it! It's actually going to be a very short fic, unless I change my mind.
NOTE: As of September 27th, 2012, this chapter was updated with a revised text. The story itself remains the same, but I believe it's more clear now. Special thanks to Ada69 for the help with this one. We exchanged dozens of mails until we finally managed to make everything right - lol
Thank you! :)