"Where is she?" Shido paced the floor of his office. He'd just arrived home from a particularly boring meeting with Yayoi and the NOS. The organization was finally willing to acknowledge him as an employee, so to speak. He was now an official Breed Exterminator. He'd be paid in money and blood, and information regarding the breeds would come easier. He'd no longer be left sitting on his hands, waiting for Yayoi to come around with a new case. But as exciting as his new job may be, he still could not understand how the organization justified a four-hour meeting.
And sometime during those four wasted hours, Riho had disappeared.
"Shido. Relax." Guni muttered from her perch on his shoulder. "All your pacing is making me dizzy."
"Then get off." He growled, not in the mood to exchange witty banter with the fairy.
"Fine." Guni looked slightly put off. With a forsaken huff, she flew from Shido to Yayoi, landing comfortably on her head.
"Why do you need to take up residence on me?" Yayoi sounded annoyed, shooting a sympathetic glance to Shido.
"Where can she be?" He growled out his newly acquired mantra, worried beyond wits end.
"I'm sure she'll call." Yayoi reassured. "Or be home soon." Yayoi smiled.
"She usually leaves a note at the very least. What if something happened to her?" He was near whimpering. "She could have been kidnapped, or killed, or…" Guni flew back over and hugged his ear. "Guni." He snapped. She immediately flew back to sprawl lazily across Yayoi's head.
"Sorry." She muttered angrily. "Just trying to be nice. Besides," She muttered after a time. "She's already been killed. What more could happen to her?" Shido's teeth clenched as more possibilities came to him.
"Shido, you shouldn't worry so much." Yayoi explained, waving her hand to distract him, meanwhile causing a small current and knocking Guni out of her sprawl. "Girls her age need a little freedom, why when I was her age…" Guni righted herself, desperately trying to cover the larger woman's mouth. "It wasn't unusual to stay out all night with my latest boyfriend and his friends." Shido jerked from his pacing to glare at Yayoi.
"You're not helping." Guni whispered. Then louder, in an effort to console Shido, she added. "Shido is her boyfriend. Well, at least, kind of..." Yayoi nodded, realizing the harm in her previous words.
Shido paced for a few more minutes, musing on ways to locate the girl, before the phone finally rang. He lunged for it, knocking it off the hook and dropping it before placing it to his ear. "Riho?" He gasped.
"Mr. Shido?" The voice sobbed.
"Riho, what's wrong, are you okay, what happened?" He easily slipped into over-protective parent mode.
"Mr. Shido." She cried into the phone, loud enough to cause his ears to ring. "I got…I got…I got hungry." Her breath slipped into a hush. She was hiccuping between words.
Shido managed to cover the mouthpiece before letting out a string of curses. He always forgot she was young and needed to feed more frequently. Who knew how many she killed to quell the bloodlust? "Riho, Riho, honey, where are you?" He calmed his voice, attempting a soothing tone.
"In the…park…by the...swing set." She murmured between hiccups. Shido covered the mouthpiece again to curse. It was the middle of the night, hopefully no children were hanging about when she came through. "Stay right where you are," He advised. "I'll be there in a minute." He grabbed Yayoi's keys, gesturing for her that they were leaving.
"Okay." She whispered. "I didn't mean to." The comment struck Shido off guard. He wanted to inquire further, but the line had already been cut. He hung up the phone and ran out of the office, Yayoi and Guni at his heels.
He explained as they drove to the park, jumping out of the car before it so much as came to a complete halt. No cop cars, he noted, that was a good sign. But no Riho. He listened hard, eventually picking up the sound of her choked sobs coming from behind a bush.
He headed towards it, bracing himself for the worst. He rounded the corner. He wasn't prepared for the sight.
There sat Riho, cradling the limp figure in her lap. "Riho." He choked out, trying not to laugh. "Riho!" He earned a heartbreaking look from the girl.
"Why are you laughing! Look at what I did!" She whimpered.
"You fed off of a squirrel!" He gave a huge sigh of relief. "You had me so worried, and you fed off a squirrel!"
"And he's hurt now!" She cried in shame, holding up the animal as evidence. Shido stared in amazement, no longer amused. The gray ball of fur twitched in her grip.
"Oh my God!" He groaned. She was all worked up over injuring a squirrel.
"I know! I'm sorry!" She cried harder, taking his relieved proclamation as one of disgust. "I'm awful! I almost killed it!" She sobbed. Shido stared at her in confusion for a moment, watching as the woozy squirrel returned to consciousness.
"No, no." He embraced her after a moment, squirrel and all. "It's not awful! Its wonderful." He soothed, watching the now frightened squirrel attempt to escape.
"Wonderful?" She looked up at him, puzzled.
"Yes, wonderful." He smiled down at her worried expression. "You didn't even go after human feed. Hell, you didn't even kill it!" He hugged her tighter. "But it's hurt." The squirrel scratched madly, trying to get away.
"No. See; its fine. It'll live." Riho looked down at it sadly.
"I scared it!" She muttered quietly.
"Riho, honey, it could've been a lot worse." He couldn't stop smiling.
"Can we go home now, since Lucy's gonna be okay?" Riho asked into his embrace.
"Of course." He replied. "But Riho," He inquired, causing her to look up at him in concern. "Lucy?"
She nodded shyly, blushing. "I named it while waiting for you to come and get me."
"Of course you did." He said with a sigh. The pair stood up, and went back to the car, ready for an uneventful night at home.
A/N: Is anyone else wondering where Guni and Yayoi ran off to? I'm thinking of just adding that they went to inspect property damage rather than admitting that I forgot about them. *sigh* Review, please.