This is a fanfiction by Doughnut Gunso.
It was over. Hinagiku saw as King Midas screamed in pain and horror, his body slowly turning into pink flower petals, starting from his head. There came noises of explosion from below; Hinagiku looked down and saw that the military tanks were firing at the remaining monsters, which were running in all directions for their lives. Seeing that the battle had nearly come to an end, Hinagiku smiled in satisfaction, but her expression froze the next second as she realised she was in deep trouble.
“I never thought about this before… but it is so high up here! I…”
King Midas was almost as tall as the Clock Tower of Hakuou Academy. As Hinagiku went all the way up to attack his head, she was in the air almost at the height of the Clock Tower. It was an altitude that would trigger her fear of height, and her thought stopped as her mind blacked out. As her mind was not controlling Shirosakura, the sword did not utilise its power of flight, and Hinagiku began to fall.
As she screamed at the top of her voice, Hinagiku had no idea how to save herself. There was only one thing left in her mind: Hayate’s promise to her – “If you call for help, I will come and save you.”
“H – Hayate-kun!” Hinagiku shouted with all her might. “Help!”
The combat butler, who was still nailing himself at King Midas’ chest, looked up and saw Hinagiku falling at high speed. “W – wait a second, I am…” – Hinagiku’s body went past his eyes as he was talking – “coming…”
Still experiencing no decrease in her falling speed, Hinagiku panicked even more. “Catch me, Hayate-kun!”
“Then please try not to fall faster than I do!” Hayate shouted back, although he had no idea what he was saying. “I am coming!”
And there he went. Letting go of Wooden Masamune, Hayate used his ultimate move again, heading straight down. Although Hinagiku had no control on her falling speed, which had in fact increased, Hayate was even faster. He felt that he had come closer and closer to Hinagiku, and he dashed horizontally towards her when he finally caught up with her, merely 30 feet from the ground.
“Hinagiku-san!!!” he shouted as he threw his arms at her. He did not expect her to answer, but simply embraced her entire body. Hayate tried his best to turn his back to the ground so to reduce the impact on Hinagiku, and with an almighty “thump” Hayate hit hard on the ground. Searing pain went through Hayate’s entire body, and the butler thought that he was torn into pieces. The impact was so hard that Hayate lost his grip on Hinagiku’s body, and the girl fell to the ground as well. Her body rolled on the ground for about 20 yards before coming to a stop.
Hinagiku panted heavily as her face was buried in the ground. She felt severe pain in every bone and muscle in her body, but she knew full well that she needed to get up. There was someone who was likely to be hurt even more seriously, and she needed to check on him as soon as possible…
Hinagiku tried with all her might to move her body. Grabbing the ground with both her hands, Hinagiku pushed her head and then her upper body up from the ground. She could see that Hayate was lying on the ground without moving, and her heart sank. “No, no! It can’t be! It can’t be!” she thought to herself.
Her will to get to Hayate overcame the injury she suffered – other than hitting the ground hardly, her body was covered with scratches – and she finally managed to stand on her feet, although only barely. With each deep breath, she moved a small step with her shaky legs, and she slowly walked towards Hayate although she looked like falling down with each of her step. Finally, she was in front of Hayate. Out of exhaustion and the need to examine him more closely, Hinagiku slumped against the ground on her knees.
“H – Hayate-kun,” she said weakly to the unconscious butler, but Hayate did not respond.
“Come on, Hayate-kun, wake up!” Hinagiku started shaking Hayate’s body by his shoulders, but he did not wake up.
“Don’t do this to me, Hayate-kun, this is not funny at all!” Hinagiku began shouting at him, her tears falling heavily on his face. Yet there was no response from the butler.
“I have to do something to wake him up, I have to!” Hinagiku said desperately to herself. “Calm down, Hinagiku! At times like this you have to calm down and think of something useful to help Hayate-kun!”
With that in mind, Hinagiku took several deep breaths to calm down and hold her tears back. The next thing she did was to grab Hayate’s hand, which was still warm. “Hopefully it means that he is still alive,” she thought to herself. She pressed two of her fingers on Hayate’s wrist, and she let out a sigh of relief as she felt his pulse. Then she put a finger under Hayate’s nose, but to her horror he was not breathing.
“So it means that I have to give him… artificial breathing?” she thought to herself, and the next second she blushed heavily. Giving artificial breathing to Hayate would mean that she had to press her lips against his, and as far as she was concerned, it would mean “kissing” him.
Hinagiku shook her head furiously to shake off the embarrassment. “What are you thinking, Hinagiku?” she asked herself. “There is no time for such weird thoughts. You have to wake him up, and this is the only proper way to do so! There is nothing romantic about it!”
She took a deep breath, but she felt her heart beating uncontrollably. She ignored it (as well as the water-boiling heat inside her body which came out of nowhere) as she positioned Hayate’s head with her shaky hands. She then pressed Hayate’s nose with her fingers, opened his mouth by pulling down his lower jaw a bit, and took one more deep breath. She closed her eyes as she moved her mouth towards his. She could feel her lips coming closer, and then closer…
The very next moment, Hayate started coughing and Hinagiku received a mouthful of Hayate’s exhaling breath. She sat back and covered her face with both her hands – one could now only see that her ears were glowing very, very red.
Hayate had the feeling that the world had turned upside down. He did not feel like having a body, just a huge piece of flesh which did nothing but giving him pain. He had suffered many serious injuries before, but this was probably the worst of them. The only two things he could do was opening his eyes and letting out an “ah” sound which was next to inaudible.
But Hinagiku heard him. Still covering her mouth with her right hand, she turned her head slowly to Hayate. Their eyes met, and Hayate tried very hard to force a smile. Being too painful to smile at all, he then tried to call her name. “Hi…” he said with all his might, but he could only do as much as mouthing the “Hi” word.
Hinagiku took his right hand with her left hand, laid down next to him, and buried her head in his right shoulder. “Say nothing, Hayate-kun,” she whispered, tears of joy rushing down his chest. “Get some rest.”
Relieved and joyous, Hinagiku suddenly felt that she was very sleepy. The last two things she felt was the cold ground, and the warm hand of Hayate…
The cheerful voice of Ayumu echoed across the Sanzen’in Mansion. Nagi frowned as she put down her copy of Shonen Sunday. She then looked up at her visitor.
“Stupid Hamster,” she said with a faked cold voice, “how many times have I told you not to shout in my house? It is rude, you know.”
“This is just my way and you know it,” said Ayumu, who looked proud of herself. “And you might as well relax a bit at home. You know, this is home, so make yourself comfortable!”
“Making myself comfortable doesn’t mean that you can shout in my home,” said Nagi with a sigh. “So, are we going?”
It was three days after the vicious battle. Both Hayate and Hinagiku were given permission to leave hospital – the doctor did not forget to express his disbelief that someone who was injured as badly as they did could leave hospital this early. “I mean, any other boy could be staying in the hospital for 6 months!”
Nagi did not explain to the doctor that Hayate could leave the hospital after just one day. He was only staying to keep Hinagiku company.
“As expected of Hayate-kun,” asked Ayumu in Nagi’s car – they were on the way to the hospital to pick Hayate and Hinagiku. “He is always nice to girls.”
Nagi did not respond. Ayumu knew that something was wrong with the young lady.
“Hey, Nagi-chan,” said Ayumu as she leaned towards Nagi, trying to sound mischievous. “Don’t tell me you are being jealous.”
“I – idiot!” shouted Nagi as she blushed. “Who said I am being jealous? I am just…”
“Just…?” Ayumu pressed on.
Nagi stayed silent for a moment or two as she organised her thoughts. “The moment Hinagiku disappearing from our sight, and that Hayate running off to fight the monsters, I was scared. I thought I might lose them both.”
“Well, me too…” said Ayumu, who looked upset as she recalled those memories.
“So I was really happy when both of them returned safely,” said Nagi as she turned her head to look out of the car window. “To me, the most important thing is that Hayate will always fulfil his promise as my butler, no matter what happens, and…”
Nagi smiled. “I don’t know. I just have the feeling that Hinagiku will help making sure that Hayate fulfils that promise.”
As Hayate and Hinagiku stepped out of the hospital, they were immediately surrounded by reporters.
“Katsura-san, what do you make of your heroics?”
“Will this incident help you win the coming Student Council election?”
“Will you keep on protecting the district as Silver Red?”
“Katsura-san, say something please!”
As always, Hinagiku was bombarded with endless questions. Yet unlike those times when she did not want to say a word about “rumours” that she was Silver Red, this time she thought she was in the mood to say something to the reporters – once and for all.
“First of all, thank you all very much for your care,” she began, and all the reporters became silent. “Let me clarify that it wasn’t me who did the so-called ‘heroics’. The army, the school, certain households and several individuals all contributed to defeating King Midas. As my mother would tell you, it is not about a single masked hero called Silver Red. It is about the contribution of all the people who would do things in their own true identity – and yes, including myself.”
“As such, it is no longer necessary for me to use ‘Silver Red’ as my persona to fight crime. I am confident that the local police could do their job well, but if my help is indeed necessary, I will contribute as Katsura Hinagiku, just like many of my friends. As you all know, the entire Silver Red thing has started with a local hero show, and Silver Red was acted by Nagata Taro-san. I think Nagata-san and his team would be glad to keep using Silver Red as a symbol of local peace and justice, but please do not expect me to be in that hero suit.”
Hinagiku then nodded to Hayate, who took her hand and lead her into Nagi’s car before entering himself.
“It’s quite fitting, isn’t it?” asked Hayate as the car drove off. “Nagata-san threw the ball to you on Silver Red’s identity, and now you return the ball to him.”
Hinagiku blinked. “Well, it might end up that way,” she said slowly, “but I wasn’t thinking about that when I spoke.”
Hayate raised his eyebrows.
“Hey!” said Hinagiku as she slapped Hayate’s shoulder gently. “Trust me.”
The Student Council election was held without delay. Aika and her cabinet had decided to give up on the election, meaning that the voting was on whether to endorse Hinagiku’s cabinet. As it turned out, 719 students supported the sole candidate cabinet, while 281 students did not.
“There are still 281 students who do not support us, huh?” asked Chiharu. She was having coffee with Hinagiku at the school cafe.
“Well, we cannot please everyone,” said Hinagiku. “The election doesn’t depend on whether students like me as Silver Red or not, but on whether they have confidence in us governing the school. Some students wanted change, and I guess their concern is legitimate.”
“So that means they still prefer Aika-san as Student Council President, despite what she has done to us?”
“It was King Midas, not Aika-san,” said Hinagiku firmly. “Besides, my way of governing is not necessarily the best way. Maybe we need some changes sooner or later.”
“Well, by the time of the next election, Aika-san would be graduated,” said Chiharu. “Who do you think could bring the ‘changes’ you deem necessary?”
Hinagiku looked across the table and saw Fumi, who was once again lecturing Sharna on how to buy snacks. “You know,” she said, “I think those two first-years may have the potential.”
“You are kidding,” said Chiharu, who grinned.
Hinagiku did not grin back, so to show that she was serious about her words. “No, I am not,” she said.
There was yet another rehearsal of the Silver Red hero show at the plaza. As the fame of Silver Red was hugely boosted by Hinagiku, many more people came to see the rehearsal. Hayate, Nagi and Hinagiku were among the crowd.
“You know, it is quite difficult for Nagata-san now,” said Hayate to Hinagiku. “Not only that he would be living in your shadows, but every time people see his performance, they would always note how clumsy his movements are when compared to you.”
“Still, they are doing their job,” said Hinagiku. “It might not be easy, but as long as they do not give up on the show, I think they will make it work. See, your mistress is going to ask for his autograph again.”
Hayate turned to Nagi, who was indeed holding a new signing board. “Have you lost your signing board again, milady?”
Nagi blushed. “N – no! This is not for him!” she said, and then handed the signing board to Hinagiku. “Could you sign this, Hinagiku?”
Hinagiku was surprised, but then she smiled. “Of course,” she said as she began signing the board. She might not care about being Silver Red any more, but she acknowledged her friend’s admiration of her hero.
Suddenly, there came a loud and desperate voice behind them: “Hey! Stop that robber, please! Somebody!”
Hinagiku looked stern as she returned the signing board to Nagi. Hayate knew at once what she would like to do.
“Go get the robber, Hinagiku-san,” he said with a warm smile.
Hinagiku nodded, and pulled Shirosakura out of nowhere.