Chapter 2: Introductions

Being caught in a situation filled with unfamiliarity is one the least comfortable situations that a human can be in. Though we acknowledge that change is a certainty and a necessity, we still fear and dread its coming. That is because humans are creatures that prefer to remain in a situation they know, and can control.

Minato was no exception to that rule. It was one of the reasons that he had in the past dreaded the rapid upcoming application to college. He would be put in an unfamiliar situation, and that terrified him more than he would care to admit. Some individuals certainly handle this kind of change well, but Minato was not one of them. Perhaps because of that, the events that happened his final year of high school could be counted as a blessing. At the same time, it gave him a headache just thinking of the events that had occurred just a little over a year ago. . . .

He had just returned home from school, early in the year and already ahead of the curve. School was not something that was difficult for Minato. He was smart, and in a situation like this that he had gotten used to, he could let that shine. It was because of this that his mother and sister were expecting him to do great next year when he applied to colleges. Regardless, Minato entered through the door to find an unfamiliar pair of shoes in the entranceway. Did they have company? He shrugged his shoulders, disinterested. Occasionally Mom got visitors from work. It did not even occur to him that this visitor would change his life forever more.

He entered him home nonchalantly, strolling down the hall until he passed the doorway to his living room to find him his family sitting on their sofa across from a very strange looking guest. A man dressed completely in white from head to toe with a black suited man to either side. His sister fidgeted uncomfortably and his mother looked annoyed. What was happening? It clearly wasn't just a visitor from work, or it wouldn't involve Yukari.

"Is this him? This is Minato?"

The man in white spoke, his face serious and contemplating. At a nod from Minato's mother, the man stood and walked across the room, closing the distance between them in but a moment. As soon as he reached Minato's side, he place a hand on his shoulder. Clearing his throat in discomfort at the strange man's sudden touchiness, Minato asked a question.

"Umm, excuse me, but who are you?"

He had never thought about how a single phrase could change his life before. One line, one action setting the whole path that he had chosen before careening in an uncontrollable direction. It was this single phrase that the man spoke. This single phrase that would lead him down a road that he had never expected. The man's face took on a disgusting grin as he answered.

"Call me Daddy~."

Just remembering it caused Minato to suppress a shiver. Letting out a sigh filled with a mixture of exasperation at his current situation, frustration at being unable to refuse the strange command of his "father", and confusion at the extremely strange situation that he now found himself in, Minato fell backwards onto a bed. This room was only a doorway away from the place he had been briefed only a short while ago, but it already felt more comfortable than the myriad of other areas he had been in today. Finally taking a moment to relax after reliving some very uncomfortable situations, Minato took a minute to take in the surrounding that room was to be his living quarters from now on.

"Don't worry about your lease. You don't need to get out of it, we just bought the building."

Why did every memory involving the chairman cause Minato's face to spasm? Probably because he did such amazingly stupid things at the drop of a hat. . . Anyway, Minato studied his new room. It was spacious, unlike the apartment that he had been leasing. A queen bed centered on a large wall with a huge T.V mounted on the wall across from the foot of the bed. It even had a desk off to the side and a wardrobe beside it. The most amazing thing to Minato however was the large window that gave him an amazing scope of the entire city. Much like the next room over, he was nearly taken breathless by the city illuminated in the night before him. It was really beautiful.

It was at that moment, when his attention was finally off of the strange and daunting task that lay before him, that a knock came at his door. Absentmindedly, Minato answered.

"Come in. . ."

The door creaked open, and a wisp of pink hair foreshadowed the entrance of a young girl in a black, kimono like shirt with a red ribbon. Just as when he first met her, Minato was taken aback by how cute the girl was, but unlike when he first met her, she was not bouncing around like a mass of pure hyper energy. Instead, she was standing in place, fidgeting and clearly unsure of how to continue after entering his room.

"Umm. . . Minato. . . .-san. . . . Can we talk for a bit. . .?"

The adorable appearance of the nervous. . . . what was her name again? Ah, right. Benitsubasa. Her nervous appearance blew away his own nerves, causing him to smile softly to put her at ease a little bit.

"Sure. Here, take a seat." He stood, motioning to the bed as he pulled the chair from his desk for him to sit.

The cute girl with the pink side ponytail made her way to the bed and took a seat, shifting and twitching, still unsure of how to continue.

"Minato-san, I know that this is lot to dump on you all at once, and. . . . I just hope that you know that I don't want to force you to do anything that you don't want to. . ."

She was looking down and twiddling her thumbs, but Minato could see that she was just tilting her head enough to sneak a look at him out of the corner of her eyes. She was clearly hopeful, but at the same time extremely nervous. Seeing her like this brought Minato back to just a short while ago.

"These are the three girls that we have gathered to be on your team in the upcoming battles. During your 'entrance tour' we exposed you to a number of sekirei, and these were the ones who showed a reaction to you. Well, two of them are. Anyway, they have shown that you are the one and only master for them."

Her one and only master. It was obvious why she was so nervous. If Minato rejected her, she had no other option. He was her first and last hope. That placed a huge onus on Minato's shoulders. If he accepted this, then he was accepting this whole new life and really had no way of turning back after he started down on this path. On the other hand, if he rejected her, then he was crushing this cute girl, and likely one of the other two as well. This moment was the time he had to make a choice that would likely affect his future forever more. It was then that he realized that he had been sitting in silence, thinking for several minutes.

Out of the corner of his eye, he saw that Benitsubasa was shaking with nerves, and small tears were gathered at the corners of her eyes. Minato mentally punched himself for making her so nervous. Anyone would be if the bearer of their fate sat in total silence for several minutes. She probably assumed that he was going to turn her down! Instead, Minato let out a small sigh before looking at the girl and answering her expectations.

"I'm going to be honest, I don't know if I am cut out for what is going to happen, and I don't know what about me made me worth choosing for someone as. . . . cute as you. . . but if you will have me, I will give this thing a try. . ."

As soon as the words left his mouth, a squeal of delight erupted from the pink haired girl's mouth, and she leaped off the bed and into Minato's chest, toppling the chair and landing on top of him. She grasped him in a death grip hug and snuggled her face into his chest.

"Thank you, thank you, thank you! I knew you wouldn't let us down! Just watch, I'll win and we can remain together forever!"

It was then that another phrase entered his mind from his 'briefing', pertaining to the contracts between these 'Sekirei', and their 'Ashikabi'.

"The contract is established through mucousal contact. In other words, a kiss~."

Minato flushed a bright red, and started to panic when he remembered. He was not emotionally ready for that. Now that's not to say that it was not an enticing prospect. He was a male after all, but at the same time, sharing a kiss with what was essentially a stranger that he had only just met a short while ago was not something that was within his threshold. As such, he gently lifted her from his body and took to his feet. He cleared his throat and managed to squeak out a few words.

"Ahem. . . That aside, it is beginning to get late. I should probably go to bed, and you should do the same. We can continue this chat tomorrow if that is alright. . ."

Benitsubasa's face shifted into a pout, and she looked like she was going to protest. Luckily, she merely nodded and started to leave. A few steps from the door however, she paused before turning around, her face stained slightly red. Her form vanished instantly, and Minato found something soft pressed against his cheek. Almost before it could register, the pink haired sekirei was already halfway out his door. With a coy smile, she winked at Minato on her way out the door.

"Sleep tight, Minato~."

Minato collapsed onto his bed and let out a massive sigh, filled once again with a mixture of emotion. He had just committed himself to a path that he wasn't sure that he really wanted to take. A path that once started upon, had no turning back.

. . .

. . .

Well, no use dwelling on it now. He had already taken that first step, so instead of sulking on that topic, it would probably be better to just try and get some sleep and get ready for what would surely be a long, loooooong day tomorrow.

Laying back, his head hit the pillow and an intense drowsiness overcame him. The faint grasping hands of the unconscious lazily reached for him as he drifted into sleep. This sleep was abruptly halted however, when a voice spoke to him.

"Feeling rather secure are we?"

The voice sounded, not from near the door, but rather from beside the window. Minato jerked up to a seated position to find another of the three women he had met today standing beside his window. A long, greyish-blonde ponytail swung behind her as the woman stalked towards the bed. With no wasted movement, she closed the distance in but a moment. Placing on foot on the bed beside Minato, she leaned in and whispered in a voice that gave him chills.

"You may be 'my ashikabi', but realize this. I don't need you here. Just don't get in my way, and I won't have to kill you. Since you won't be winging me, it won't bother me any. I won't have you getting in the way of my fun."

By the time Minato even thought to react, the woman was already standing beside the door and leaving. In the same amount of time it took Minato to register that she had even been there, she was gone. Something about her left him shivering. The threat to end his life was definitely not an idle one. God, what had he gotten himself into?

As he finally drifted into sleep. A thought absentmindedly crossed Minato. There was only one sekirei that he had not had a. . . personal. . . chat with at this point. If you could call it that with the ashen haired woman. . .

Before he could ponder this further however, sleep overtook him.

oOo

In the vast empty darkness, Minato opened his eyes. Not remembering where he was at first, he started to panic. That was only a moment however before he remembered the events of the previous day. He let out an almost audible groan as he sad up in the total darkness. It was still clearly early in the morning, however even from across the room he could see a faint light slipping through the crack beneath his bedroom door. There was someone out in the area that he supposed one could call a living room.

Groaning once again and stretching his stiff muscles, Minato made his way across the room and opened the door. In the lavish room that sprawled before him, there was indeed another figure awake. The television brightened the dark room, displaying some lame late night drama, and seated across from it on the couch that Minato had sat on earlier was the last one. The last sekirei that had been there that yesterday. Haihane if he remembered correctly from her introduction then. Figuring that he might as well pass some time, he moved across the room and sat beside her on the couch. Haihane however, did not even pay a moments notice to his entrance. Instead, she was totally entranced in the drama. That didn't really bother Minato though, as it gave him a moment to try and get a feel for her. She was beautiful, there was no doubt about that, but for some reason she was wrapped in bandages, and her kimono was tattered. That combined with the studded choker around her neck gave Minato a very dark and foreboding impression of her.

It was only a moment before the drama reached a commercial break, and the sekirei turned to face him. He nearly flinched when he saw her somewhat intimidating form head on. To his surprise however, she smiled softly at him.

"I hear that you have decided to accept us."

Minato could only nod in response, but that seemed to be enough for her. Haihane leaned back into her seat, stretching her arms across the back of the sofa and relaxing. She was smiling, and for some reason, the dark aura that she had been giving off was lessened somewhat. In fact, that aura was shattered completely when she started laughing. It was a bright sound that seemed to lighten the dark room.

"Aha, so like that girl to be so direct about it too. I'm glad that you didn't make her sad then. However, that doesn't mean that I'm going to let her take the lead."

This time, she gave him a coquettish smile, before standing and taking her leave.

"Ah-"

Minato stood up to ask her a question, but before he could get the words out, she was gone. Their first chat had been very brief indeed, but Minato couldn't help but feel that she would be a very interesting person to get to know. In their brief exchange, she had already seemed so very different from the impression that she gave off. It made him want to get to know more about her. Unfortunately, that was not now possible, so he decided to call it a night and returned to his room once more.

How he managed to get dragged into something so fantastical was beyond him, but for some reason, this whole situation bothered Minato significantly less than it did just a few hours prior. Even though it was still not something he was wholly comfortable with, he realized that it was something that he could really get invested in.

With that final thought on his mind, Minato drifted off to sleep once more.

A/N: Long time no see eh? Wait, what? You mean that none of you have heard of me before? What is this!? Who are these heretics who have not heard my name before? Wait, I changed my name? Oh yeah. . .

Anyway, yes, I am now UnitedPostalService, and not CassiusBrutus for any of you that knew me by that name. For anyone new, that shouldn't bother you at all. Regardless, welcome one and all to the second installment of my second story, thank you for reading.

I apologize to those who read the previous chapter, as I am a dirty liar. It has been a long time since the last chapter was posted, but to be fair I have not really been in a situation where I could be writing fanfiction. I just got done with Basic Training, so I will now have a bit more time for writing, though AIT will also be taking up quite a bit of my time. Regardless, I hope that I can get some good chapters out in a timely manner from now on.

If you don't believe me, well you have all that right, but I hope that that doesn't deter you from reading my story. Regardless, thank you again for reading and see you next time.

UnitedPostalService (Formerly CassiusBrutus), out.