Little late with this one. I hope everyone enjoyed their 4th holiday if you are reading from the USA I know I did.

Of course I do not own Sekirei or anything like that.

Also I wanted to ask the reviewers what they thought of the lengths of the chapters. Should they be longer? Shorter? Let me know.

Enjoy and thanks for reading.

He can't be the only one


What was going on? He had just wanted to come into the library that morning to get some help with econ. How had he run into another Sekirei, winged her and ended up falling out of the other side of the chair in his shock? Kochou had grabbed him so suddenly that he didn't know what was happening. With the way she was looking at him Minato thought that she was ill, looking back on it now though her reaction was quite clear. Akitsu said that Sekirei all react differently according to themselves and their Ashikabi, still…that was a hell of a blatant reaction.

A look of confusion shown on her face, Kochou took a step toward the chair that now set between her and her sprawled out Ashikabi where he fell back.

"You know about Sekirei already? How?"

Thinking it might be a good idea to get up off the floor he pushed himself up and put the study table between the both of them. Once he felt like he was fairly certain he was out of reach of any sort of retaliation he spoke up. How was she going to react to this? His mother had told him how important Ashikabi were to their…gulp…mates.

"You are not the first Sekirei that I have bonded with," he paused considering just how he was saying all this carefully, "You are the second and first to bond with me without warning though."

Across from him Kochou looked too pleased with the thought of finding him to feel embarrassment in her actions. When one might shy away at their brash antics brought up by another she instead set her hands on the table between them, palms splayed out against the composite wood and smiled at him in a decidedly sultry way like some sort of lovely predator.

"Do you not like assertive women Ashikabi-sama?" her voice was thick with possibilities left to his own imagination.

Physically he shifted in place not totally sure how to react to something like that.

"Tha…that aside I already have Akitsu, that's the Sekirei I have already," he said trying to fight the red creeping into his cheeks just from the way she spoke.

Those perfectly manicured nails drug against the table top when she pulled her hands back to cross her arms just under her breasts considering him. The placement had been intentional though he was certain of that. Minato did his best to ignore the temp of a glance instead he tried to calmly wait for her answer.

When it became apparent she was not going to earn a rise out of him she rolled her shoulders in a shrug and smiled truthfully, "Really it comes to no surprise that the ONE I react to as my Ashikabi has enough power to draw more than one Sekirei. Am I to be offended at the idea of sharing your bed with another my beloved?" She tilted her head down just enough so that she could look up at him from just over the rim of her glasses that she wore, "Because I will not, all the more fun."

Those hazel eyes of Minatos bulged at what Kochou was implying and he suddenly lost the battle with the red flush in his cheeks instantly turning fire engine red at her words. How, why, she couldn't be serious! Nervous he reached up and scratched the back of his head and turned away from that 'needy' gaze she was giving him so he could actually string together some complex thought.

"Honestly when I got up this morning I just wanted some help with Econ...this…this is so much more than I was ready to deal with at this early an hour, "Minato sighed and slouched his shoulders some hopeful that everything would turn out alright once he got home.

Kochou unfolded her arms and pushed her glasses up with her left hand while picking up one of his worksheets with the other, "Well in that case Ashikabi-sama you are going to be pleased." Minato looked back over at her in time to see her start to come around the table after him. Despite himself he took the smallest of steps back when she drew near and Kochou's lips formed into a pout, "You are not afraid of me are you?"

Wow that look is adorable he thought. Even with how she had suddenly winged herself on him Minato couldn't really hold it against her. After his short time with Akitsu he had a better grasp at how Sekirei worked, if that was the right word to use there, and this was not really what he would call strange for their kind.

Quickly he shook his head and did his best to present a more confident tone, "Of course not. It's just that Akitsu is nothing like you, but she told me that all Sekirei are different." Thinking back he thought about how Matsu was nothing like his first Sekirei either.

She curled the worksheet she had grasped up and tapped the end of it against her cheek holding her smile watching his every move having never taken her eyes off of him since the kiss, "That is true. No two Sekirei are alike, just like humans are am I right?" That smile curled into something more befitting to be relabeled a grin and she sat herself on the table top worksheet placeed across her lap, "I my dear Ashikabi am a information type Sekirei, my skills include gathering info, plotting, and using electronics. Any kind!" She said proud of herself, but Minato was not terribly comfortable with the way she looked at him when she used the word plotting. "Also I have the ability to remotely use most electronics."

"Really? That's amazing" Minato said honestly surprised that anyone could do something like that, "Can you show me?"

The silver haired woman canted her head to the side and shyly looked at him in a teasing way, "Why Ashikabi-sama…you do not believe me…I suppose I could show you." Momentarily she lowered her eyes over his body searching him for something, it caused Minato to break out into a new sweat, then Kochou frowned suddenly back up at him when she seemed to not find it "You do not have a phone!"

Confused Minato shook his head at the shocked looked he was getting at the fact and stated almost annoyed because this came up from time to time, "I don't like them. Simple as that, nothing wrong with going out and not wanting to be bothered when you do."

Slowly she pushed off of the table top and advanced towards him that sultry look back because of his words it seemed. Like Akitsu had she extended her hand, but unlike the timid ice user she did not pause. Kochou gripped the front of his sweat shirt and tugged him towards her closing the distance between the two of them. Minato could feel the damp heat of her breath on his neck, but didn't move away, he wouldn't step away again in retreat from her.

"My new Ashikabi does not like to be bothered when he goes out?" she whispered lowly against his ear so that he could feel her lips, "Still, you should have one. What if we get separated and I …need you…"

The way she said that last part made him shudder, that and the way Kochou tugged at the lobe of his ear when she whispered it. Needing a bit of space from the overzealous Sekirei he placed a hand on her hip, an action that at first she started to break out into a smile over, but when he moved to push her back a step that smiled flipped to her pouting frown again.

"If you are truly worried I will think about getting a cell alright?" Minato said. This was so strange; a woman coming onto him like this so suddenly would have been crazy a week ago. Now with explanation of how Sekirei bound themselves to their Ashikabi he was starting to actually adjust.

Kochou brightened somewhat at this omission and turned back to the table heading back to beside it having to look over her shoulder at him to speak where she could see him, "Until I get the chance to prove my ability to you Minato-sama will just have to trust me."

Trust, right, Minato awkwardly scratched the back of his head once more and was about to say something else when the handle for the door that came into the study room started to rattle. It was not as if they had been doing something they shouldn't have and yet still Minato turned stark white like he was about to be caught just the same.

The door opened and the volunteer from the front table poked his head in flashing a warm smile, "Everything going alright in her Mr. Asama? Kochou do you think you will be able to help him with his studies?"

Oh god. Minato tore his eyes away from the friendly upperclassmen and balked when he saw Kochou's response.

"It should not be a problem, "she said promptly in a terribly professional manner that was not at all what she had been using a moment ago, "Mr. Asama here is a bit behind, but I think if we try our hardest we should be able to get him up to speed by tomorrow. Is that not right Mr. Asama?"

What a turn around, Minato couldn't believe it. Kochou went from some sort of primal force of sexual energy in the room to a reserved sure of herself tutor without as much as a blink. Hell she only looked up from her clipboard, that he forgot she came in with entirely, to ask him this question with seriously focused eyes behind those stern glasses of hers. It took him a second to realize that she was indeed waiting for an answer.

"Um..Y..yes?" he was not sure exactly what she wanted to hear because of the abrupt turnaround.

"Well if you need anything I will be at the front desk for another hour, best of luck on your Econ test Mr. Asama," the friendly man offered as he closed the door to leave them alone once again.

After the guy left Minato just stared at the door silently calling to him. Help? I have been drawn into a battle royal between a group of love charged aliens that are going to fight to the death with each other I could use a hand here. Of course the man could not read his mind so the door stayed closed leaving the two of them alone with one another and if Minato was sure he felt the mood of the room change again.

Gentle arms wrapped around his waist and he felt Kochou press her body in tight against his back, "Oh yes I will be able to help you Minato-sama," she said with a contented sigh near his ear once more.

Minato froze at the feeling of her hands, but did not try to move to stop her, instead he asked, "What was that?"

He couldn't see it since he was faced away from her though he was certain she was grinning again in that seductive way, "Why whatever do you mean my Ash…Ika…bi?"

Even if he had his back to her he could still turn his head just enough to see her out of the corner of his eye, " Just a second ago when the guy came in you acted like a totally different person in front of him and now that he is gone it's like you have two separate personalities."

Kochou frowned and set her chin on his shoulder so that she could nuzzle into his neck while she spoke, "Oh that, "she started like it was something terribly simple, "There is no reason that anyone other than my Ashikabi should enjoy my…affectionate…nature now is there? Oh no," she trailed off along with a finger up under the hem of his shirt on his stomach, "I want to save that just for my fated one. That is why I acted like that suddenly."

So she was only going to act like this when no one else was around? That was both incredibly helpful and troubling in the same vein. Still, the feel of her fingers against his skin was not an unwelcome one .The way Sekirei latched on so quickly scared him at first because of the meaning behind it and he had not been comfortable with it, but now in the arms of a second one he was starting to think about something else. Why was he adjusting so quickly to them, well now the both of them? It just did not feel as 'wrong' anymore.

"That…is…acceptable, "he said evenly trying not to draw attention to how comfortable he was becoming with the situation, "I can see why you would want that Kochou. Although I really do need to get some studying done?"

Those hands around his waist that were idly playing drug their claw like nails across his abdomen, relenting to his desires, and pulled back from him turning to face the table once more in a disappointed huff. Still she reached starting to collect all of his worksheets and piled them up into a straight stack so that she could start stuffing them back into his bag.

"If that is the case Minato-sama then we should retire to someplace more private, "she stated while Minato glanced around the small room wondering why this place would not work for studying, "I wish to see where I will be staying in any case. Perhaps we can study there if that is alright?"

A little surprised at the sudden desire he answered in the affirmative, "Yeah that should be fine, "it was really the apprehensive way she had gone about saying it that bothered him though. Just what was she worried about. Maybe it was the fact that he denied her forward advances so completely combined with the fact that he had Akitsu back at the boarding house? Certainly would make sense for a normal woman.

Stepping up to the table beside her he helped her to pack away his things taking the bag from her. Neither one of them said anything after that. Kochou didn't even attempt to tease him even that had him even more worried. Whatever she was thinking about she didn't seem to want to talk about it. Just the same it was a long trip back home on the train and he needed the time to come up with a plausible story as to why he had another Sekirei to Akitsu, or better yet to his mother that was sure to beat him with her sword for this.

"I am back!" Minato called out just after stepping inside the mud room of the Asama house he called home with this new Sekirei in tow behind him.

One hand went down to start to undo his sneakers so that he could change to his house shoes, but was interrupted when Akisu came dashing down the stairs from whatever she had been doing on the second floor. Akitsu was dressed just as she was the previous day in the kimono with the odd length of chain. With deft hands she grasped onto his sweater and the strap of the pack he was carrying so that she could hold him in place and look him closely over like a mother hen might a chick.

"You are not harmed," she stated in that cold tone of hers finally meeting his hazel eyes yet not releasing him just yet, "When I awoke you were not beside me Ashikabi. You should not be out in the city without your Sekirei now that you are a part of the situation."

Minato opened his mouth to say something, but Kochou stepped forward eyeing he light haired woman then spoke in her detail oriented voice, "Akitsu, Sekirei number Zero Seven. Abilities classified as elemental ice control along with enhanced agility and speed. "Her calculating gaze shifted to her Ashikabi after rattling this off and crossing her arms under her breasts, "Relegated as a …scrapped number…This is the Sekirei you meant Minato-sama? This is simply not possible."

Like every time those two words were spoken while he was near Akitsu he felt her grip tremble where it held him, however when she turned to give Kochou her attention at the statement his first Sekirei was without an hint of pain in her expression from the use of the title. Instead her normally impassive lips curled into a small knowing smile.

"Take a closer look sister," Akitsu said bowing just slightly to the newcomer so that she was able to put more emphases on her unblemished forehead under her lightly shaded bangs.

The Ashikabi was still trying to come up with an excuse for Akitsu as to how the situation of having a second woman wing herself on him to even worry about understanding the dynamics of the current exchange. Kochou took the invitation and looked down her nose at her 'sister' as Akitsu had called her and stopped short her misgivings in that instant.

"She is no longer marked?" her voice lost that all knowing edge somewhat and her eyes showed a confusion that Minato had not seen from her yet when Kochou looked to him for some sort of explanation. When it appeared he was not going to give her one she broke into an almost lecherous smile and nodded much like her new 'sister' had, "It seems my Ashikabi is more special then I originally considered."

Minato shrugged his shoulders of course not able to explain how exactly it had been possible for him to wing Akitsu since he didn't understand it completely himself yet, still he had to say something to his first, "Akitsu, I am sorry when I went to tutoring this morning, Kochou here," he said motioning to the proper looking woman regaining her look after the stumble in confusion at the scrapped number bit, "Was to be my tutor. When she came in she…reacted… to me." Minato held up his hands like he was trying to a defense, but ultimately sighed and dropped them not even trying that, "She kissed me. I didn't know what was going on. I bonded with her."

The three of them nearly filled up the small mud room with silence after that. Minato looked worried this was going to crush the fragile girl he was starting to truly form a bond with, at least from his side, and he didn't wish to hurt her. The information Sekirei just looked on with a sense of amusement at the way her Ashikabi had explained the whole ordeal. Truly…he made it sound so terrible.

Staring blankly back at them Akitsu tilted her head as if she missed some part of his explanation, "And?"

The Kendo champion balked at this. She was not upset?! Those hazel eyes of his searched her face for some hint of her true feeling, but all he saw there was plain acceptance. Now this he couldn't understand.

"You…are not upset Akitsu?"

She shook her head without hesitating and stepped past him so that she was standing in arms length of Kochou. That was when she did something truly surprising and at the same time…beautiful? If that was the best way to describe it. Akitsu reached up with her right hand and pressed two fingers to the forehead of Kochou wearing a small smile one might use in greeting a new friend or family member.

"Welcome Sister."

She said this with a warmth to her tone that Minato had only enjoyed a handful of times from her while moving that hand around until her fingers wrapped tangled at the back of the opposing woman's head. Kochou matched the smile offered and relented when Akitsu pulled their heads together so their foreheads met gently resting against one another. The both of them closed their eyes and sighed contently just standing there basking in the feeling s revolving within them. A moment later Akitsu simply dropped her hand back down to her side and allowed Kochou to stretch back up to her normal height.

"Thank you for the greeting Akitsu, I feel most welcome beside our Ashikabi," Kochou said softly keeping her eyes on the woman until the last word allowing her eyes to flash up past her to the watching Minato.

Sighing Minato found the raised portion of the wooden floor that met the stone floor of the mud room and took a seat. Calming, he ran a hand through his black locks and threw his eyes to the floor. This was all just too much, and it was escalating now! Where once there was, but Akitsu now it seemed Kochou was in his care. From what he knew Ashikabi were supposed to look after their Sekirei like a husband or wife. Akitsu didn't seem phased at all though that Kochou stepped into the pair making it the three of them now.

While he was thinking this all over he missed his first come and crouch down so that she could set a hand on his shoulder causing him to snap back to reality, "Ashikabi-sama are you alright?" her voice was full of a worry. Minato wondered if she could actually feel his emotions through the bond that they shared. Did it work like that at all?

Reluctant to really acknowledge the way he was feeling Minato nodded and let out a tired breath again," You are truly ok with this Akitsu?"

If the newcomer butting in hurt her at all she didn't show it, instead she nodded in her slight way in return and tried to console her Ashikabi with a gentle rub of her fingers on his shoulder, "It is alright Minato-sama. You are going to attract a great many Sekirei I am sure, my Ashikabi is very special. Please do not worry of upsetting me when one reacts to you. Wing them if they wish it, which will make me truly happy."

She wanted him to gather more Sekirei? Did this have to do with the battle that he was suddenly thrust into or did she mean it in a more personal way? Thinking on that he came to only one understanding. Akitsu knew what it meant to finally find her fated one, perhaps better than any other Sekirei that was currently hunting one. If the chance arose Minato would wing any willing Sekirei if it would please her.

Minato smiled kindly after realizing this and reached up so that he could place his lips softly against her forehead in a gentle manor, "I will keep what you said in mind Akitsu."

Those normally ice pale cheeks of her flushed red at the affection and she shot back up straight posture returned. Off somewhere behind him he heard footfalls coming down the stairs in the direction Akitsu had come and he was already considering what to say to his mother. This would have to be saved for later though.

"Just WHAT are YOU doing HERE!?"

The loud outburst catching him off guard Minato threw his head to the side so that he could see Matsu red faced from her angry outburst on the second step leading upstairs glaring past him where he sat.

"Matsu I just went t-," Minato said starting to defend himself.

"Forgive me Ashikabi, but I do believe that the insolent witch means me," Kochou said unmoved from her spot with her arms crossed, though she did somehow manage to look that much more imposing behind her glasses where she eyed Matsu right back.

"WITCH?!" Matsu shouted taking the last two steps in a thundering flurry of paces till she stood looking over Minato where he sat at the source of her ire, "You have some nerve coming into my house calling me something like that Kochou you boring Librarian!"

Unable to take any more of this Minato stood up between the two of them and used his left arm to hold back a thrashing Matsu that looked like she was ready to tear the other woman's hair out.

"I guess you two know each other?"

Kochou gave a superior smirk at the question and answered her Ashikabi, "Yes…back at MBI it was realized that of the total number of Sekirei there are only two information types among them. Myself and the much less impressive Matsu," of course the way she said it made Minato think that she might be exaggerating that gap more than a little bit.

This confrontation was quickly heading to a fight from the looks of it and Minato was not sure it was a good idea to get between the two supercharged women. Luckily it seemed his mind had been read. All around the four of them the mud room dropped a good twenty degrees and the three looked to the ice Sekirei confused. Akitsu merely shook her head at the two offensive women in a stern warning that they should not involved her Ashikabi in such a heated debate.

Kochou and Matsu both paled, a considerable amount of their growing steam evaporating at the sudden threat looming in the room. Of the three only Akitsu was a combat type, the other two wouldn't have stood any chance against her so with the cold 'shower' she gave they backed down quickly.

"Please forgive my outburst Minato-chan," an embarrassed Matsu offered stuffing her hands into the pockets of her loose white dress.

"Yes, please forgive me as well my Ashikabi," Kochou said with much less emphasis behind her words, but Minato had a feeling she meant it just the same.

The red head returned color to her cheeks at the sudden realization. Lifting a hand she pointed from Minato then to Kochou in turn blinking wide eyed. Sighing Minato rubbed the back of his neck and nodded, he was indeed Kochou's Ashikabi now. Not quite sure how it had happened like this, but it was done.

"And I see you are still un-winged Matsu,…how unpleasant for you I would imagine?" Kochou taunted while at the same time holding on to her completely unstressed tone that Matsu had not managed to shake no matter how much she had yelled at her.

Her eyes started to tear up at the words spoken by his second and she turned from them fleeing back up the stairs holding back sobs that they could easily still hear once she was out of sight. Upstairs they heard her sprinting down the hall to the fake wall door at the end only to slam it behind her once inside. Matsu might not be his Sekirei and he might not totally understand what it meant to be one of them, but even he knew what Kochou had just said would have been like a dagger to the girl.

Rounding to look back at the information Sekirei he lowered his tone boarding on anger with her and spoke, "That was uncalled for Kochou. Matsu is a good friend of mine and I have known her for a hell of a lot longer that I have known you. "Unconsciously he advanced on the woman and under his steely gaze she shrunk loosing that quiet confidence she normally wore, "You are not to speak to her or of her in such a manor again am I understood?"

From her coiled position Kochou swallowed and nodded at the sudden intense felling her Ashikabi gave off. She as well as Minato probably guessed that he did not have something like that in him. It seemed both of them were wrong. Akitsu impassively looked on throughout the display seeming to care not one way or the other.

Instead she offered a pause, "Ashikabi-sama let me take Kochou and show her around, your mother is in her room and I am sure she would like to speak to you over any new arrangements."

All of that anger, and stern expression that he held flowed out of him at the mention of his mother. Gah, she was going to kill him.

"Thank you Akitsu, please do." It was all he could manage while he watched the ice Sekirei take the shell shocked tutor by the arm so that she could lead her away.

Down the hall Minato eyed the door to his mother's room without a hopeful thread in his body.

When he knocked on his mother's door, then was invited inside, Minato slid back the wooden door and found her sitting beside the shrine to his late father. Of course Minato had never met the man, died sometime before he was born, but it didn't mean he didn't know what his own father looked like. Back when he was younger and they didn't have any tenants Miya kept a few pictures about the house of the two of them. Now though with tenants coming in those frames retreated into this solitary room for only his mother to enjoy.

"Welcome home Minato-chan, how did your tutoring go?" the way she hesitated flashing a small smile without breaking her gaze from the small shrine gave him pause, "Anything interesting? Someone perhaps?"

Like his own room his mothers was equally sparse with just a bed against a wall and a small table in the center that you could sit partially under and heat yourself against an electric blanket that was sure to be coming out as they got closer to the colder days of fall. Minato closed the door behind him and headed for this table, taking the time to sit down and stick his legs under it making sure he was at least relaxed for this conversation.

"I guess you heard us talking near the door then?"

Miya nodded, gave a small bow to her late husband, then turned to sit facing the table along with her son, "The women in this house are hardly known for their inside voices. Why should the Asama house break that trend with newcomers?"

Under his drumming fingers the short table made soft sounds after she spoke. She was waiting for him to bring up the new voice she had heard. Minato was trying to avoid it. Why couldn't he just be a normal student enjoying his second year of college. Dealing with that Mikogami kid had been bad enough and he hoped that would be the end of his college years of pain. This…this had been unexpected.

"My tutor turned out to be a Sekirei," he stated unable to meet his mother's gaze that was so intently set on him worried that she was going to erupt at any second like one of the many volcanoes that formed the island chain, "And she sort of…winged herself on me."

It really was the only term for what had happened. Before he had realized what was going on she had kissed him. Kochou's reaction had been far stronger than Akitsu's or maybe the ice woman had just been that much more skilled in hiding it. Whatever the case Minato had not even known that she was a Sekirei until Kochou had pulled back from the sudden embrace.

Those matching eyes of hers shifted from her son to the door as if she could see the possible new tenant standing on the others side somehow, "So my son's flock has extended to two. Again I am not terribly surprised giving your possible ability as an Ashikabi being my son, but still…" she giggled lightly behind a lifted hand while eyeing him suspiciously, "Back to back days…I am certain I did not raise a son to move that quickly."

He couldn't help himself he had to ask, "Flock?"

"Sekirei means wagtail. So a group of birds would be a flock would it not?" she said counting two on her fingers while she did keeping an appraising tone, "Flock makes the most sense given the name by Japanese standards…unless you would like to call the group a harem."

Blushing harshly Minato lowered his eyes back down to the table top, "Just the same I would rather not call the group of them anything…"

Again she hid behind her hand and giggled lightly at the rise she drove from her son, "Still I assume you are worried about taking on yet another Sekirei, but I believe when we spoke before I told you it was not uncommon."

That's just the thing, he might be part…whatever it was they were…but he was raised to be a human despite his mother's true race. The idea of having a far more than a little serious love affair with Akitsu had been enough. Add in Kochou though and it was something he honestly had never considered.

"You said something about my ability as an Ashikabi, what did you mean by that mother?"

"Ah," she started drumming her fingers on the table top much like he had a minute ago while she considered the question, perhaps where he got the little tick, "Everyone has an aptitude for being an Ashikabi. Some are 'better' at it initially than others. Because you are my son it is not surprising that your initial stage of an Ashikabi was already quite high. You wouldn't have been able to wing Akitsu had it not been."

The image of the two of them embracing one another outside the MBI building flashed past his eyes. Akitsu had been so happy in the moment. Minato couldn't think of anyone he had ever seen that happy for any reason. The fact that he was the person that gave that feeling to her still surprised him when he thought back to it. Kochou had reacted in a similar fashion, but not quite as strongly. That made sense because after all she had expected to find a partner when Akitsu had all but given up on the prospect.

Still he had many more questions, "What do you mean initially…?"

Those motherly orbs admired him after the question just like they had after his first soccer game back in grade school and just like they had then it made him smile almost against will, "You may have started to feel it, but the bond does not just effect the Sekirei, it also effects you Minato, the Ashikabi. Every time you form a bond with someone your innate 'power' if you will as an Ashikabi gets stronger. Because of this growing power Sekirei that might not have reacted to you or anyone else before might start to."

Maybe that explained a bit of his shifting emotions. After Kochou it was not exactly like the first time. Although this time he knew exactly what it meant now, still he had been more accepting to the idea? The way she was talking he could end up bonding with more and maybe the effect would start to compound until he was reacting just like the full blooded Sekirei. The idea was more than a little unsettling. At least to Minato.

"You think more Sekirei will be reacting to me then?" he said sounding not at all excited about the prospect.

Miya frowned and didn't answer his question instead posing one of her own, "Tell me Minato is the thought of having Akitsu around and now this new woman really so terrible?"

Inwardly he swore. This might all be new to him, but his mother was a Sekirei. If anything he was pleased to not have been struck through the whole ordeal of explanations, not even once! She was trying really hard to get him to understand and warm up to the Sekirei perhaps not only for their sake, but for hers as well.

Minato sighed disappointed he had not seen the underlining issue and said in a warm tone, "You know I love you no matter what happens mom right?"

Considerably her features softened and a hand extended to cover his left, "Thank you, I really needed to hear that."

Miya might not always let on how she really felt because of the warm friendly mask she wore, but she was as 'human' as anyone else. A little encouragement from her son seemed to really cheer her up.

"So you are not upset I have brought another woman home with me?" Minato asked tentative hopeful still to make it out of the room with his no welt streak intact.

Across from him she pulled her hand back and started to get up to her feet, "Well no mother really likes the idea of her sons being taken away from her, let alone within the confines of her own home." Miya went over to the small shrine where one of the candles had burned down all the way and replaced it with another, "Still, you are a good boy and I think I raised you well enough to make good decisions." After setting the lit candle down in place she smiled at him in that very threatening way, "I do hope that trust is not misplaced."

Instantly Minato recoiled at the end of her statement and shifted closer to the end of the table and there for the door that was a few steps away. Quickly he nodded, not wanting to incur her wraith without warning, and smiled hopeful not to get hit.

Carefully after making sure the candle was not going to snuff itself out she returned back to the table across from him

"You said you wanted to stop MBI and this Sekirei battle royal at dinner last night," she asked suddenly deathly serious if one went by her tone, "Are you sure that is what you want to do? It would be easier to have your Sekirei compete and attempt to win the tournament. Maybe even gather a few more Sekirei to increase your chances?"

The idea of any finite group of people having to fight each other for any reason didn't make sense when he had thought it before and it didn't make any to him still so the answer was easy.

"If I can do anything to stop it I will," he said trying to sound more confident then he had the night before.

Pleasantly Miya smiled to him, "You will need to get stronger in the months ahead."

"Kinda feels like I am preparing to go to war…"

Across from him the purple haired elder frowned slightly, but she could not disagree, "You will indeed be Minato-kun."

At the childlike title Minato softened and remembered what it was like to be a kid practicing with a wooden sword beside his mother.

Hopeful he asked, "Will you be able to help? Akitsu is afraid of you it's easy to tell that much just on your first meeting and if you are Zero One that means you have to be fairly strong right?"

Normally he might of expected his mother to laugh his question off and deflect such a serious appraisal of her own strength, but this room suddenly felt like one of the shoguns of old struggling over battle tactics.

"There is an agreement between another and I that will keep me from directly helping you fight MBI Minato," if there was more to it and he was sure that there was she didn't want to share right now," but because of it you will have a chance to grow into a force and get your strength so to speak without getting hammered right away once the fighting starts. Towards the end I have no doubt that I will need my sword, but what I can do is help prepare you and your Sekirei as best I can."

Once the fighting starts. Soon, he couldn't be exactly sure when the fighting would do just that and his small 'family' was going to be tested. Worriedly he thought of Matsu, she was not his Sekirei, and could theoretically fight against him. Hopefully with a little luck that could be avoided. Ok a lot of luck. As for strength he was not totally sure just what Akitsu and Kochou could do. From what the glasses wearing woman had explained to him it didn't sound like she was going to be much use in a stand up fight. Akitsu on the other hand always had a bit of a deadly look in her eye although he had not seen her flex her strength yet to prove that.

"The bond strengthens the Sekirei how so?" he suddenly asked at the end of his train of thought without much context, but his mother was quick enough to supply an answer.

"Normally Sekirei are fairly gifted with their abilities. You wouldn't want a normal human standing up against one of them, wouldn't even be close. With an Ashikabi beside them it's a whole other story, it's like a nuclear option almost." She said once again looking towards the door probably considering just what the girls he had surrounded himself could do thus far, "A Sekirei can kiss their Ashikabi and get a short boost to their abilities. It allows Sekirei to unlock that bit of power MBI sealed away so that they could interact with humans. It's called their Norito and the results are usually something spectacular. "

"Well if I want to come up with any sort of plan I should probably find out just what Akitsu's and Kochou's are," Minato said thinking out loud again.

Perking up at the name his mother looked very interested now, "Kochou? Is that the Sekirei you bonded with?" Suddenly Minato was aware he had not even told her about who this new Sekirei was, but before he could she spoke again. "No wonder Matsu was so upset at seeing her. They are similar types, both information, and she probably felt a bit threatened when she saw you together. Matsu might not be 'yours', but I think it's safe to say she is a part of the Asama family at this point."

That was very true; the pervy redhead meant a lot of Minato, if not in a romantic way. Later he was going to have to stop by her hidden room and try to coax her out to a meal and an apology if he could manage it.

Down the hall someone beat on their front door three times loudly and quickly as if something was wrong then behind it came a very familiar voice, at least to him.

"Minato?! Are you in there?! I could really use some help!"

Not quite sure what was going on Minato excused himself from the conversation with his mother stating that he would see who it was and made his way towards the front door. Just as he reached his hand for the handle behind him he heard a rattle of chains and had to look back over his shoulder at the sudden sound. Standing there, back on the wooden floor still and not the stone of the mud room, Akitsu watched him silently along with the door he was answering with interest. Minato had never heard her coming and it had him once again thinking she was some sort of alien ninja with speed like that displayed.

Still he wrapped his fingers around the door handle and opened it up to see who was calling on him by name. There on the Asama house porch stood Hideo looking far worse for wear. His clothes looked like he had slept in them, or at least as much sleep as the bags under his eyes said he got and he was only wearing one sneaker. Beside the short black crop haired man that Minato had started to call a friend stood a woman he did not recognize and with good reason. She had brown hair that hung to near her shoulders to frame her face and wore what had to be called the skimpiest shrine maidens Halloween outfit he had ever seen.

It took him a second to realize that whoever this was she currently latched herself onto Hideo's arm with such force that his hand had started to turn another shade it wasn't supposed to.

"Hideo?" Minato asked not sure how to start. It was the first time his friend had come by the boarding house and he had not expected to see him, let alone with a woman.

"Minato you have to help me…it…its crazy man," his friends brown eyes shifted to the woman beside him and she just continued to smile up at him like she lov…loved him. Sekirei. Minato didn't exactly know why he went there right way, but after the events of the morning and how she was holding Hideo he was just going to be cautious.

Because of this Minato took a careful step back. Behind him again he heard those chains shift and this time he could feel the fabric of Akitsu's Kimono against his right arm where she had moved to stand close to him. He was just hopeful she didn't try to choke out this woman like she had Matsu.

"What is going on?" he was worried Akitsu was really going to try something, but he didn't really want to draw attention to the fact that she was a Sekirei herself because it might start conflict.

"You know my place does not allow women, " It was something he had complained about before, but it was a cheap apartment that his mother helped him pay for while he was at college so he didn't really have a lot of options, "Well I sort of…met…someone. And my landlord got the wrong idea and threw me out."

When he said this the woman beside him finally realized that Minato and Akitsu were standing there and beamed at the both of them her greeting, "My name is Musubi. I am a fist type Sekirei number 88. Pleased to meet you! A friend of Hideo-sama's is a friend of mine!"

The intensity of her greeting was staggering, she nearly shouted it. This Musubi certainly didn't lack for energy it seemed. Beside her Hideo tugged her in closer and whispered something into her ear. Idly Minato overheard about not blurting out stuff like that so he quickly stepped in to stop his friend.

"Hideo its ok I knew she was Sekirei, I know all about the MBI Sekirei plan and I guess at this point you do as well huh?" Minato said stepping out of the entry way and onto the porch so that he could hold a hand out to the woman in greeting, one that she took with a wide smile gripping tight enough to bruise his bones probably when he got his hand back. "My name is Minato Asama and that," he said hoisting a thumb over his shoulder to Akitsu who had no doubt taken the needed steps to stay beside him after he moved," is Akitsu. She is a Sekirei as well, so relax Hideo. Unless you intend on starting something we are going to be just fine."

Hideo looked past his college friend to the beauty of a woman after she was introduced and Minato wondered if he had completely overlooked her because of his current predicament. Akitsu might be quiet enough to be overlooked normally, but the way she…dressed…made that nearly impossible in most circumstances.

"You…you know about the Sekirei plan to?" Hideo asked like he couldn't really be sure it was actually happening to him let alone one of his friends.

Minato reached his hand up in the usual way and scratched the back of his neck nervously, "Actually I have two Sekirei," his friend paled somewhat at the thought, perhaps Musubi was a bit of a handful to think about having two despite her looks, Minato sighed then finished, "…it's been an odd week."

As if this was all the explanation the two needed they both exchanged mirrored nods and at least for Minato's part he felt somewhat glad to find his friend in a similar boat. At least now he had someone to confide in that was somewhat normal, even if they were not out from under this new situation themselves.

"So…," his friend said easing into his question, "I don't have anywhere to go…"

Minato couldn't help himself and grinned somewhat at this deciding to tease his buddy, "Oh…and you think you can just walk up and stay here then Hideo? I know we are friends and all bu-"


Hands flew up to Minatos shaggy black hair where he had just been struck by his mothers wooden practice sword. He had a record going! Painfully he rubbed the spot atop his head and tried not to growl at his friend that was trying to hold back his laughter at seeing him get hit by his mother with a sword. Minato had half a mind to round on Akitsu and glare at her for not warning him that Miya was coming, but knew it would be a wasted effort so he didn't bother. No one in the house went against his mother, even Akitsu was afraid of her.

Behind him his mother of course put on her warm friendly tone, "Of course you can stay Hideo as long as you would like. We do not turn those in need away…," she said this with eyes boring into Minato's back, he was certain of this, "My name is Miya Asama. Yours please if you will since my son is being less than proper and has forgotten to invite you in so we could have a cup of tea over introductions."

His friends face lit up; evidently a place to stay had really been weighing heavily on his shoulders because it looked like he weighed fifty pounds lighter after Minato's mother's words. Hideo reached over and placed a hand on Musubi's back so that he could guide her into a low bow to match his own while he introduced himself.

"Thank you for your kindness! My name is Sahashi Hideo. Please take care of us!"