“Hey, Shit Rat, it’s time to go.” Licht called to Hyde in the car. He wanted to buy a few souvenirs for his parents and he had Kranz drive him to the mall. Due to their distance limitation, he had to take Hyde with him. They didn’t have a lot of free time to shop so it irritated him that Hyde continued to sleep in the car. He debated if he should leave him to rest while he went shopping by himself.
While it would’ve been quicker for him to leave, Licht crawled back into the car to wake him up. He placed his hand on Hyde’s shoulder and gently shook him. The action didn’t rouse him though. He leaned closer to yell into his ear but then he realized that he was breathing heavily. A layer of sweat covered his forehead and Licht thought that he had a fever.
“Are you sick? If you weren’t feeling well, you should’ve just told me.” Licht sighed and slid back into the car. No matter how much he tried to hide the way he felt, he loved Hyde and he simply couldn’t ignore him. He knew he would worry about him if he left him while he was sick. He sat next to him and moved his head onto his lap. “I’ll buy souvenirs at the airport tomorrow. Kranz, take us back to the hotel.”
Finally, Hyde spoke but he it was more of a groan than words. Licht took his black scarf to wipe the sweat from his forehead. He gasped when his hand passed through him. His body began to change into a dull blob like the form he had when he showed Licht his memories. He shifted into different shapes, from animals to flowers, until he was merely clouds in his arms.
Licht called his name and tried to hold onto the clouds. His heart sank as Hyde’s Jinn rose into the air and out of his reach. Looking up, he realized he wasn’t in the car anymore but standing in the street. Countless black paper lanterns floated above him and the Jinn was captured in one. He thought he heard the sound of a match before a lantern turned blood red. The others slowly followed and they created a red path across the night sky.
On the path, a child walked towards Licht. The first thing he noticed about him was how gravity didn’t affect him since he walked upside down. He wore a mask so he couldn’t see his face but Licht knew that he was a demon. A paper lantern swung from his hand and Licht gasped when he saw that a hedgehog was trapped inside. “Give me back my hedgehog!”
“You can’t save him. You can’t save any of them.” The boy’s voice was small but it sent a chill through Licht. He hesitantly looked around him and discovered his friends and family trapped within the lanterns.
Licht woke up and in a cold sweat. He sat up sharply and the motion woke Hyde next to him. At first, he made an irritated groan but then he saw Licht’s expression. His face was pale so he reached out to comfort him. He was slightly taken by surprised when Licht threw himself into his arms and hugged him. He buried his face into his chest.
While Hyde was confused, he returned his embrace and stroked Licht’s arms. He could feel him tremble against his back. It was rare for him to have a nightmare and Hyde wanted to ask him what caused it. He thought it was best to let Licht collect himself before he asked him about his dream though. He kept one arm around Licht as he sat up to turn on the lamp.
Licht could feel the cold steel of his nametag against his cheek. He turned slightly so he could touch the chain and wrap it around his fingers. The nametag had been cut on half but they managed to repair it afterwards. He traced his finger over the name and remembered how he spent hours carefully carving the name into the metal. “Hey, Shit Rat, can you read this and know what it means?”
“It’s the name you gave me when we first met. Hyde. You might call me a dumb hedgehog but even I know how my name is spelled.” Hyde took the chance to make a small joke even whole he didn’t understand why Licht asked him about his name. What worried him more was how Licht didn’t laugh or make a retort. Silence stretched between them but he could see that he was deep in thought.
Hyde’s hand returned to his hair and he caressed his dark locks. Then, he heard him whisper: “I hate this.”
His words made Hyde stiffen. “Hate what?”
“I hate that I can’t do anything about your Jinn. I’m an angel. Back then, I should’ve been able to protect you but Tsubaki… Now, your Jinn is gone and I have to watch you become weaker every day. I want to do something to stop this but I don’t know where to start.” Licht ranted and let out his frustration. “The battles are getting harder. If we don’t find a solution soon… I don’t want to lose you.”
“I’m not going to die, Licht.” He reassured him but Licht didn’t respond. Hyde knew that actions were more important to Licht than words. He thought of something he could do to show him.
Licht gasped when Hyde suddenly threw him back onto the bed and bit his neck. Once he drank his blood, their contract chain appeared between them. He instinctively summoned his Lead and slammed his ankle down on him. Hyde didn’t try to dodge and let him kick him. Slowly, he rose enough for Licht to see the pained smile he had. “What the hell, Shit Rat?”
“If I wasn’t a Servamp, that kick would’ve broken my leg. You’re one strong angel.” Hyde took their contract chain and expertly circled it around Licht’s wrist. He lightly pulled on the chain and lifted his arm so he could kiss his wrist. “This chain is our bond. It doesn’t feel weak to me. I lost my Jinn but I’m not going to lose in a fight with my angel.”
“You’re a cocky demon.” Licht turned his hand to grab the chain as well. With a sharp tug, he pulled Hyde down until he was laying over him. He wrapped his arms around him so he couldn’t sit up again. Hyde couldn’t think of a reason he would want to move when an angel was holding him though. He licked the bitemark he made on Licht’s neck earlier. Licht knew that he was silently apologizing for biting him without permission. He kissed his blond hair and said, “It’s okay but don’t do it again.”
Hyde reached up and placed his finger against his pulse. The steady beat reminded him of angel wings and he wanted to listen to the rhythm as long as he could. “Nii-san knows a werewolf who can help find a way to recover our Jinn. Those lantern kids were creepy but we managed to fight them off. Eventually, we can save Kranz too.”
“Even though I’m an angel, I wasn’t able to protect the people I love. Twice.” He wasn’t only afraid for Hyde’s health but also his own failure. He was a prideful person so it was difficult for him to speak with others about his insecurities. Hyde was different because he felt comfortable and safe in his arms.
“You couldn’t have known that Tsubaki would go after civilians like he did. We were miles away when Kranz was attacked too. You shouldn’t blame yourself. I’m sure you would’ve kicked that demon across the street if you were there. You’re an angel.” Hyde told him confidently. “You’ve already saved me, Licht. Together, we can rescue everyone else.”