For Anna

This fic will be pretty short due to my irritation with the keyboard. I rest my case.

"It was your fault anyway," said Anna Kyouyama, crossing her arms as she and her fiancé, Asakura Yoh, reached the gates of their house. "I didn't ask you to rescue me from those thugs."

"But what do you want me to do, Anna?" Yoh asked helplessly as he looked at his fist. He must have broken his knuckle awhile ago because the guy's jaw was so hard! "They were ganging up on you!"

"I can protect myself," she said.

"Not all guys can be easily intimidated like me," he reminded her, grinning.

"And you still have the nerve to smile?" she asked in disbelief.

"Yeah! It's not everyday that I get to save a damsel in distress who usually doesn't need any saving at all," he explained.

Awhile ago, as Anna was preparing to go home, a bunch of bullies two years older than them decided to pick on the quiet girl, but they all ended up with fat slaps on their faces. They were about to charge on her had not Yoh interfered and fought for her with his bare fists.

And now, the same fists were hurting like hell. He had no regrets though. Even if all he got from his fiancée was an I-Told-You-So statement. Even if he didn't get any thanks for what he did. He understood that when the gods created gratitude, Kyouyama Anna was the last person to be blessed by it.

"Don't ever call me a damsel again, understand?" she said before hitting his back, which was pounded on mercilessly awhile ago. He cried in pain.

She glanced at him, and then went straight to her room. Amidamaru suddenly appeared, looking at him worriedly. "Master Yoh, are you ok?"

He tried his best to grin sat him. "Yeah.  The baseball bat they used on me was really made of wood."

"That's all you can say, Master? After what they did to you, all you will say is that?"

"What do you want me to say then? The bat wasn't made of aluminum."

"Master Yoh!!!"

He grinned. "What are you so mad about?"

"You should have used me, and we could have scared those children. You didn't have to get hurt for her sake." Amidamaru looked at the direction of Anna's room before rolling his eyes.

"She's my fiancée," he said, shrugging. "Protecting her is my job."

"It isn't, when she doesn't tell you to do that," countered the spirit.

"There are just some things that people do for-" He stopped short of the word love.

His spirit, however, had guessed what was on his mind. "You love her?"

He looked down, eyes twinkling. "I don't know for sure, but I know that she is dear to me." He looked out at the window. "I used to get scared of her, and sometimes I still am. But now, I feel that I understand her more. I now know why she chooses to be aloof. She's just not comfortable with emotions because she grew up way too fast."

Amidamaru was speechless. His master looked different as he was talking. His face was all lit-up, and he sounded really excited talking about Anna.

"When I became the shaman king, the first person that entered my mind was her," he continued. "I realized that I reached that dream halfway because of her. Because I wanted to see her happy, seeing that her dream came true." He smiled at his spirit. "From then on, I began to aspire and strive for her. Everything that I do, I do for her. For Anna."

"Then, I understand now, Master," nodded Amidamaru. "You do love her."

He smiled. "Yes, and it feels great."  

They stopped talking when they heard footsteps coming their way. Anna was in the living room already, carrying a bag of bandages.

"Let me see your fist," she said, poker-faced.

"Huh?"

"Your fist," she repeated, eyebrow raised. She then noticed Amidamaru looking at her in awe. "What are you looking at?" she snapped.

"N-Nothing, Ma'm Anna!" The spirit promptly disappeared.

"Hmp." Anna looked at Yoh under her narrowed eyes. "That is what you get for interfering with matters that are not your business." She began to spread the alcohol on his skin with a swab of cotton. He gasped in pain.

"You may be the Shaman King, but it still doesn't change the fact that you are a worthless clumsy fighter," she said. "You know very well that you won't win against four men much stronger and older than you are."

"Do you want me to use Amidamaru on them?" he asked. "I can't do that! The shaman fights are one thing, but when it comes to things like these, we fight our own battles."

"Things like these?" she echoed.

He nodded. "Yup." He looked down at the bruised fist that she was treating. "Besides, I can't use spirits on normal human beings. It's unfair."

"Next time, don't bother to do that again. I don't want to see you get hurt, especially because of me. I don't want you to go blaming me around," she said crossly.

 "I will never do that," he said good-naturedly. "I got hurt out of my free will."

She sighed. "It looks to me as if you're even enjoying those bruises you got."

 He tried to move his fists. "I got these when I was protecting someone important to me. It's not so bad."

She nearly dropped the bandages she was holding, but she pretended to ignore what he said. "Rest after I finish this. You'll be making dinner soon."  She quietly continued on dressing his fist. "There."

Surprisingly, Anna didn't find anything objectionable about the dinner Yoh made that night. She just took his cooking as it is and said nothing more. What surprised him more was that she told him to go straight to bed.

"What about the dishes?" he asked reluctantly.

"Didn't you hear what I said?" she snapped.

So he followed her meekly. He gave her one last glance when she wasn't looking. She was busy clearing the table.

Anna was about to go straight into her room when she remembered Yoh. Quietly, she went to his room and peeked at him. He was lying on his bed, body moving rhythmically with his breath. He was asleep.

The next thing she knew was she was beside him, touching his bandaged fist, all the while feeling strangely warm inside.

"No one had ever worried about me like that before," she told the sleeping Yoh. "I didn't know how to react. I'm sorry. Thank you too, for what you did for me awhile ago." She clasped his hand – something she wanted to do for the last ten years that they had been together, but she couldn't because she was too shy – and brought it close to her heart. "I do love you," she whispered.

She felt his grip on her hand tighten, but she didn't see the grin that spread on Yoh's sleeping face as his lips moved, as if speaking.

"If I catch you not doing your exercises, you won't have any dinner tonight," Anna said the morning after as she timed Yoh's sprint.

Yes!" he said, panting, but looking very happy. She looked puzzled. "You look energetic today," she remarked.   

I'm inspired," he said simply.

She shrugged. "Very well, that can only mean that I can add more weights to your body now."

He grinned. "Bring it on!"

Soon he was ready for his second lap. Before he went on his way, he grinned sat her. "This is for you, Anna."

She looked shocked, but her face eventually softened into a smile – one tender enough to melt all the fatigue that Yoh was feeling.

She nodded, and he ran off, feeling like the happiest deadweight-bound shaman in the world.

Fin

Sorry about the shortness of the fanfic. ^^;; Umm, shameless plug: please visit my Yoh x Anna fansite (). It's in near completion.