This is a fanfiction by Doughnut Gunso.
“Happy Birthday, Miki!!”
At 7 pm on 9th September, the party began to celebrate Miki’s 17th birthday. Only a few people were invited to the party, including Hinagiku, Risa, Izumi, Ayumu, Chiharu, Kayura, Yukiji and Wataru. Aika was also invited, but she turned it down. Hayate, Maria and Nagi were the hosts of this party, and they of course were attendants.
“May I ask why I am invited?” asked Wataru, as he was serving himself with some fruit punch. “I have never been close to you girls, and I don’t see other Hakuou students here.”
“It is because you were the President of our club, Wataru-kun!” said Risa.
“That is right, Wataru-kun!” said Miki, the birthday girl. “You have no idea how hard life has been without you.”
“That isn’t very reassuring, as I have never seen you treating me like a very important person at the club,” said Wataru. “Oh, by the way, happy birthday,” he said it to Miki very casually.
“You are very kind, Wataru-kun,” said Miki, beaming. “Have anyone of you seen Hina? She hasn’t come to school today, and I haven’t seen her tonight either. I wonder where she is…” She began looking around.
“Not to worry, Miki-chan. She said she would come, so she would come,” said Izumi, and she began looking around as well. “Oh, look! There she is!”
Everybody turned and they saw Hinagiku coming. “Hi, everyone!” she said cheerfully. “Happy birthday, Miki!” she said to Miki with a bright smile. Miki blushed. “Thank… thank you,” she said, turning away.
Izumi stared at Hinagiku. “Hina-chan, your outfit is so cool!”
Everybody looked at Hinagiku. She was wearing black sailor suit with red linings, black skirt and black leggings. Only her trademark Converse shoes were pink. Hinagiku had chosen this outfit, so that she could walk around the school campus at night without being noticed – or she thought.
“Oh, thank you,” said Hinagiku, giggling.
“Well, it looks like if you are sneaking into some places in the dark, Hina,” said Miki.
Hinagiku was alarmed. “Does… does it?”
Miki stared at Hinagiku for some time. “No, I was just kidding. You look great, Hina.”
“Th – thanks,” said Hinagiku, who was glad that she seemed to have passed Miki’s inspection. It was never an easy task.
Elsewhere, Ayumu and Yukiji were deep in conversation. It was the first time they met since their reunion in Cafe Donguri, and Ayumu took this opportunity for a better reunion talk.
“It has been quite some years since I had tutorial lessons with you, Kazami-sensei,” said Ayumu cheerfully. “Or should I call you Katsura-sensei now?”
“Yukiji will do,” said Yukiji as she took some beer. She was the only one in the party who was having alcohol. “I am not your teacher anymore, Ayumu, but we can be friends, so let’s call each other like friends.”
“Yes, Yukiji-sensei!” said Ayumu, even more cheerfully.
Yukiji choked very hard on her beer.
Hayate and Maria were busy preparing dinner. Maria had not hosted a party ever since Golden Week, so she was very excited.
“Listen up, Hayate-kun!” she said as she rolled up her sleeves. “Even though they are our friends and your classmates, they are our guests today! You should serve them with all your might!”
Thanks to Maria’s skills and passion, the dinner was extremely well done. Everyone enjoyed the meal so much that they almost had forgotten that there was yet a huge birthday cake to come. In the end, Miki decided that she would only blow the candles for now, and everyone could have the cake after games and the ball.
“Games” were inevitably video games. Nagi had connected her Wii to a 100-inch HD Television, and started Mario Kart on it. This attracted the interests of Chiharu, Wataru and Kayura, so they began their race right away. To Nagi’s satisfaction, she was clearly the best racer out of the four; to her dissatisfaction, nobody was watching her achievement, as the others went to the ball.
The “ball” was a small dancing party in the Great Hall of the Sanzen’in Mansion. Klaus and several maids (including Maria) were serving drinks (juice, for Hinagiku would not allow underage students to drink even cocktails or Champaign; Yukiji was not happy about it), while everyone was dancing. Miki, the birthday girl, led the dance, and her partner was of course Hinagiku (both of them blushed fiercely, but for different reasons). Hayate joined the dance with Ayumu, but as he was the only male in the ball, he was forced to change partner every 30 seconds, and in the end he was almost torn into halves by Risa and Yukiji.
Hinagiku kept checking the time throughout the party. She had a habit to be 10 minutes early for any meeting, and this time she had an appointment which she could not afford to be late. At 20:30 Hinagiku thought it was almost time to go, so she told Miki that she needed to take a break, and she left for the balcony.
Hayate saw Hinagiku leaving, and he decided to go after her. He thought that he had to tell her something, or at least to have a chat with her, before she left. He had a horrible feeling that, if he missed this chance, he would never be able to talk to her again.
The sudden departure of Hinagiku and Hayate attracted the attention of the others.
“Where are they going?” asked Izumi.
“Who knows?” said Miki with a sigh. “It is my birthday! Why can’t you spend more time with me today, Hina?” she thought to herself. “They probably have their own business, I guess,” she said.
“Their own business?” repeated Izumi, confused.
“Well, forget about them,” said Miki. “Let’s dance, Izumi!”
As she reached the balcony, Hinagiku took a deep breath. Although it was late summer, it was comfortably cool this night. Insects were singing in the grass, and the stars were shining bright above the sky. It was a clear night.
“I only wish it could be a bit darker,” Hinagiku thought to herself. “On such a bright night, I could easily be discovered in the campus, and in that case I cannot give Fukada-kun a surprise attack.”
“Hinagiku-san!” she heard Hayate’s voice behind her, and she looked around.
“Hayate-kun?” said Hinagiku, surprised. “Why are you here?”
“Well…” began Hayate, but he found it difficult to explain himself. “I fancy a talk with you,” he said finally.
Hinagiku blinked. “With me? Why?”
“Emm…” Hayate thought hard for an excuse, but he could not find one. “Well, you are going to save your parents, right? I guess I have to talk to you before you go, otherwise…”
“You think I might not come back?” Hinagiku finished the sentence for him, but she was smiling.
“Well…” Hayate knew that his honest answer was “yes”, but he was worried that Hinagiku might think he was looking down on her, so he did not want to give it.
“Hmm?” Hinagiku leaned forward, gazing at him.
“Well, yes,” Hayate couldn’t stop the words coming out of his mouth, and he felt his face had become very hot. “That was what I thought.”
Hinagiku stood straight and turned away, her pink hair dancing behind her. Hayate gaped at the beauty of her movement.
“How did you feel when you went to save Athena, Hayate-kun?” asked Hinagiku, with her back on Hayate. “Were you afraid that you might be killed?”
“No, not really,” Hayate replied, surprised that Hinagiku asked him about it. “I promised milady that I would come back to her after saving A-tan, and I meant it. I did not think that I would be killed, so I wasn’t really afraid.” He paused. “Not until King Midas pierced through my body,” he added.
Hinagiku lowered her head. “I am not really afraid, either,” she said. “I have to save my parents, and I cannot fail. If I won’t fail, I will survive.” She turned and smiled at Hayate. “This is illogical, but strangely it gives me courage to face my responsibility.”
“Your responsibility?” asked Hayate.
“My responsibility as a Kazami,” said Hinagiku. “We might not have been family for 10 years, but they are my parents. As their daughter, I have the responsibility to help them.”
She turned to the balcony. “Well, I am not fulfilling my responsibilities if I die and cannot return to the Katsuras, am I? Of course, mom has told me that if we love each other, then we will always be together even if one of us is… gone, but I still prefer to live with them and to take care of them.” She smiled again at Hayate. “This is my code of responsibility.”
“I see,” said Hayate, who had no idea what else to say.
“I have the responsibility to the Kazamis and to the Katsuras,” said Hinagiku, “and sometimes I can’t stop myself asking: Am I Kazami Hinagiku? Or am I Katsura Hinagiku?” She shook her head. “I know this is a stupid question, but sometimes… I just want to know.” She leaned forward again, and looked into Hayate’s eyes. “What do you think, Hayate-kun?”
Hayate thought hard. It was not an easy question to answer. “Please wait for a moment, Hinagiku-san,” he said finally. “Let me get you something.”
A few minutes later, he returned with two cups of coffee on a tray. “Please try one, Hinagiku-san,” he said as he offered Hinagiku the tray.
Hinagiku looked at the steaming coffee. The smell and the colour of the coffee were so familiar to her. She took a cup and had a sip. It was a bitterness she was so familiar with, followed by a sweetness she was so familiar with. “The Wind Sees Daisy!” she exclaimed, and she looked at Hayate. “You know how to brew it?”
Hayate shook his head. “No, Hinagiku-san. This is not The Wind Sees Daisy. It is Osmanthus Daisy.”
Hinagiku was confused. “What are you talking about, Hayate-kun? This must be The Wind Sees Daisy. This…”
“I call this coffee Osmanthus Daisy, Hinagiku-san,” Hayate interrupted her with a smile. “You see, Hinagiku-san. A name is only a name. The content of the coffee remains the same, no matter it is called The Wind Sees Daisy or Osmanthus Daisy.”
“So?” asked Hinagiku, but she had a vague idea of what Hayate wanted to say.
“Kazami or Katsura, you are still Hinagiku-san,” said Hayate, as he moved a bit closer to Hinagiku. “The Hinagiku-san who is athletic and smart. The Hinagiku-san who is energetic and caring. The Hinagiku-san who is strong and delicate. The Hinagiku-san who is quick-tempered and lovely. The Hinagiku-san who makes me happy and scared. The Hinagiku-san who I owe so much… but I like so much. So, just be yourself, Hinagiku-san!”
“Ha – Hayate-kun?” said Hinagiku as she blushed very fiercely. She thought she had just heard his confession, and this time she was not mistaken. “He confessed to me! He confessed to me!” she could hear her heart screaming crazily. Tears filled her eyes quickly, but this time these were tears of joy.
Hayate moved forward and hugged Hinagiku. “Please make sure you come back, Hinagiku-san,” he whispered and kissed Hinagiku on her forehead. “I – we – will be waiting for you.”
Hinagiku buried a smile in his shoulder. She used to struggle against body contact with Hayate, but his embrace and kiss were so comfortable tonight that she didn’t even think of pushing him away. “Well, it is not a bad thing to be held by him, right?” she thought to herself.
“Thank you, Hayate-kun,” she said. “I will come back. I promise.”