Standard disclaimer applies.
Notes: Rewritten, but still under revision. The first bit is mostly a retelling of the scene in episode 40. Currently, I don't remember much of the scene so it might be different (been so long). Also, I watched this in Spanish, so dialogue may be slightly different (not to say I changed it in some parts, I think). The same goes for the manga extract concerning the scene before Yoh's departure.
When the time comes
He stared at his surroundings and felt himself smiling as his watched his friends safe and sound. The new techniques in the Tchou Reikyettsu had proven to be real lifesavers, and something more. He felt a wave of relief wash through him just as a sighed escaped him. It was then that something crossed his field of view, an old scabbard, and within it… 'A sword?'
"Your grandfather sent it," Anna's sharp tone brought him out of his reverie and he looked up at her as she handed him the sword. Their gazes met before Yoh's eyes strayed back to the object now in his hands.
"Gramps did? What is this?" He mumbled as he took out the strange looking sword out of its fabric-made case. The red blade and strange form instantly caught his attention. Whatever could have his old grandfather sent if for?
"It's from the national treasury, so you better not break it," she offered, somewhat sternly, but her words had been rushed.
He chuckled and slumped down his shoulders a bit. "Yeah…"
"Yoh…" she began, only to be cut short by her fiancé.
"Yeah, I know what you mean," he told her, looking at her knowingly. He gazed back at her, a small, gentle smile beginning to curve his lips.
Anna almost arched a brow at him in surprise… What did he know? Did he know about Hao or their encounter?
The smile on his face grew. "You look good, as always…"
'Yoh, you stupid boy…' She looked away, a fine blush uncharacteristically gracing her cheeks. "You too," her voice was the softest of whispers.
They were quiet, then. It was a pause of silence that would have stretched comfortingly if it weren't for Anna narrowing her eyes at him as she began to think that he would stay with that awkward look on his face forever.
Yoh could have gawked at her just then but it would have made her uneasy. Uneasy Anna most of the times meant pain. But still… 'Did she… did she just smile at me?' he wondered. Yoh was dumbfounded, marveled, really, by her gesture and words. He had been expecting a deadly blow, at least a bump on the head. But hadn't it been that way lately…? …At least it was so the weeks before he left the old house in Tokyo.
He could remember clearly the last day before he left home. He had been trying to evade her all day and was sure that she knew this, which would in turn cause her to be angrier at him than the usual. In all honesty, it hadn't been a simple thing to do, avoiding her that is, but he'd decided that not seeing her would be easier than saying goodbye.
It was already far too late when he stepped inside the house making the less noise as possible. Thinking she should have been in bed by then, he slipped into his room that night and tried to rest even when sleep was the last thing on his mind.
She had startled him though, as she entered his room and threw his hand-made battle custom on top of him. He had opened his eyes when she began speaking softly, but made no sign of being awake. Perhaps it was better if she just thought he was really asleep.
"You've got guts," she stated calmly, though he knew she was angry, very much. "You actually went to sleep without saying good night to me…" her voice was still a murmur. "Yoh…" Anna looked straight at his figure under the covers.
He was shocked when he noticed that she was sobbing quietly, but more so after he heard the words that escaped her lips. His eyes widened. 'Stay with me? Has she gone crazy…? Not that I don't like the idea… but…'
"Only tonight," she whispered, and he didn't need anything else.
He moved to make space for her in the futon and she lay next to him, her glinting amber eyes meeting his onyx once in silent understanding.
"G'night," he muttered and yawned; there was a smile imprinted on his face as he closed his eyes and covered them both with the covers. He brought her closer, arms around her waist, and sighed contentedly.
She looked at him and closed her eyes too. "Good night, Yoh," she said and slept.
That night he had pretended to sleep, but instead he found himself watching her deep in her dreams, hugging and feeling her close for the last time in a long while. '…I promise I'll come back to you, Anna. I'll come back home.'
That had happened a long time ago… Now he was standing next to her even though it had turned out that she was the one to come to him. He couldn't speak, or rather he could but was afraid that the many things he wanted to say would get scrambled up together and Anna would think he was an idiot.
He was standing there, watching her as his heart began beating wildly. He hadn't seen her since… actually… Uh-oh, if she found out about Sharon's spirit taking over her form, as she likely would, she wouldn't like it at all. He grimaced slightly but tried to shake that thought away.
"Before I entered the cave," he began, his eyes on her only, "When I saw you then… I didn't thank you for being there and interfering those girls' attacks. It did me a big favor. So… thanks, Anna."
"You don't have to. I am your future wife, after all," she said looking straightly at him, a usual icy tone on her voice.
"Anyway, thank you. I-I also wanted to tell you that," he looked at the ground and muttered, "well, that I'd missed you. I am glad you are here."
"I am happy to see you too, Yoh," she said and smiled, so faintly that the smile was barely there.
WHAT WAS GOING ON?! Was she smiling a bit too often or was he having delusions already? Perhaps it was the long time he'd spent in the dessert.
'She looks cutter, though.' His cheeks flushed at the thought.
"Something wrong?" she asked, a little concerned, though her face was even once more.
"Huh? No! I am okay," he stated, clearly not saying the truth.
Anna narrowed her eyes at him slightly and sighed. 'I better tell him now…' She looked away and fixed her eyes on the canyon's walls. "Yoh, you need to know that I've already met Hao," she stated seriously, straight to the point.
Yoh did a double-take, gaping. "What? Did he do anything to you?"
"No, but he was really annoying. He only said and did stupid things," she huffed. She pictured Hao in her mind and scowled. "Actually, he wanted me to bring to you the notes faster, yet I was supposed to give them to you anyway. It's quite suspicious, don't you think?" she seemed thoughtful. "Well, at least one of the things he said is true."
"What did he say?" he asked, visibly more relaxed. She was okay, and that was the important thing.
She smirked at him. "That I was worthy as the future wife of the next Shaman King."
"Anyway," she tried to change the subject quickly, "let's go with the others. We need to find a place to rest and tomorrow we'll decide where we are heading to."
"But…" He started, but she started walking away. He ran after her, grabbing her arm and effectively causing her to come to a hat. "Wait!" he said, gasping a little for air, "Wait… I need to ask you something."
"Yes?" she questioned while turning to him. He loosened his grip.
"I-I need to know…" he stopped.
"Need to know what?" she arched her eyebrow and motioned him to continue, curiosity getting the best of her.
He straightened himself up and gulped down the knot in his throat. "Anna, when the times comes for me to fight Hao, you will be there, right? You've met him, right? You know how strong he is, perhaps he is even stronger than we think. You won't leave, Anna?"
She crossed her arms over her chest and shook her head. "It seems like you're even more of a fool than that idiotic guy."
He blinked once. "Huh?"
"I'll always… be by your side," she closed her eyes and sighed, "Yoh."
Before even understanding what his body was doing, he stepped closer, fear and hesitation then dancing in his eyes. In a sudden move he was holding her arms and bringing her closer… and kissing her. It had been what he'd longed to do back at Tokyo, when he was unable to say goodbye properly.
Anna's eyes opened wide in shock as she felt his lips on hers, but she closed them once more as she felt herself relaxing in his hold. It was nothing but a short, soft kiss, if somewhat clumsy due to their inexperience, that made them blush as well, but it was still perfect. Yoh moved closer against her, his arms now circling her waist while her hands rested against his shoulders.
Their kiss was deepening when, all too suddenly…
"Hey! GUUUYYYSSS!!!!" Horo Horo's piercing voice ringed in their ears, "What's taking you so damn long?!"
They broke apart immediately, looking flustered, both of their heads lowered down. Still, the Ainu boy seemingly never noticed what was going on as he approached them.
Yoh looked at his friend nervously. "Umm… I, she, me and her… I mean, we were just…" Yoh fumbled for the right words. Then, sighing, he looked at Horo Horo who was gazing back at him with curious eyes, "Horo, did you see something?" Yoh asked at last.
Horo Horo scrunched up his eyebrows at him in confusion. "See what?"
"Uh… nothing." Yoh laughed, a bit uneasy. "So, Horo Horo, why are you here?"
"Why did I come for?" The boy scratched his head searching for an answer, "Ah yes! We are waiting for you. We've found a place were we can make our camp; it's near a clearing and a waterfall. You took too long so I came looking for you two." He laughed brightly.
"Oh… okay." Yoh relaxed a little. He glanced at his fiancée and inquired with his gaze, "Anna?"
"Yes," she nodded and both started walking away.
"Wait, I get it!" Horo Horo's mind clicked. Yoh and Anna froze on their spots and turned to look at him. "I can't believe it!"
"Uh, can't believe what?" Yoh sweat dropped, eyes on the finger that Horo was waving at him.
"You! I can't believe you… Asakura Yoh…" Horo Horo pointed accusingly at him.
"Me?" Yoh pointed at him self, somewhat confused.
"You! You were trying to run away from Anna, right? But she stopped you," Horo Horo said as-a-matter-of-fact, "You were willing to leave us with her and make us suffer the consequences?!"
Anna's vein popped.
"Whatcha do that for?!" Horo Horo growled at Anna, who wordlessly approached Yoh.
He smiled nervously at her, glancing at his injured friend true the corner of his eyes and feeling guilty.
"Yoh," she offered her hand to him, bringing his attention to focus back on her, "Let's go."
"Yes." Grinning, he took her hand and both walked back to the rest of the group, a jabbering Horo Horo behind them.
"Holding hands, huh? Does that mean you love each other? Yoh, how many times have you kissed her?" Horo Horo ran towards them, "'cause you've kissed he, huh? That's right, she is your fiancée. I bet you kiss her whenever you want to."
"Uh, Horo…" he tried to warn him, but the boy was oblivious.
"I want I girlfriend," he muttered.
Anna was getting mad. Yoh squeezed her hand knowingly and smiled. She relaxed her gritted teeth.
"Oh, the lovely couple… I can hear the wedding bells… Ah! Wait until I tell everyone!" Horo Horo laughed.
"Horo, I think you shouldn't…" Yoh warned.
"Why?! Imagine what Ren and Chocolove will say! Ha, that'll be fun and," Yoh, who was now next to him, tapped his shoulder and pointed to a furious Anna, Horo Horo gulped, "uh-oh."
The girl was giving him a look that could kill; her red aura was pouring out of her like a fountain overflowing with water. "SHUT UP! YOU MORON!!!"
And Horo Horo that was how Horo Horo turned out to be the first to taste a hit from Kouki, and then Zenki's. The hits left Horo Horo drooling on the ground, knocked out.
"Yoh!" she shouted in demanding voice. Yoh went rigid and turned to Anna, timid smile on his face. Or scared. Either way, she went on. "You'll carry him! Let's go!" she ordered and started walking.
"Yes, Anna-chan," he laughed nervously. She was fuming and that wasn't the best of things. He lifted his injured friend and sighed.
"Hurry up!" she was yelling as she slowed her pace to let him catch up with her.
"Yes!" he answered as he ran next to her.
She looked at him over her shoulder and both smiled, a little exchange of something only they shared, continuing their way to meet their friends and companions.