The moment I woke up, I knew I wasn't feeling well. The sunlight was hurting my eyes, my vision was spinning, and there was this irritating throbbing in my temples. Perhaps, it would be easy for you to deduce that I am sick. Dakedo, Kyouyama Anna is the last person in the world to get sick. Along with pains, emotions, and Yoh's raunchy bunch of weirdos he call friends, I've already intimidated illnesses.
So I forced myself to get up. (Oh the stupid room won't stop revolving!) I went into the bathroom and splashed cold water on my face, hoping to snap me out of my daze. I cringed when I instead felt that my face was pierced by hundreds of needles. I brushed my teeth, but felt my throat was dry. (I need more fluids. I better ask Yoh to buy a refill of mineral water downtown.) I put on my bandanna and headed for the dining room. As expected, Yoh and Manta were eating breakfast happily already. Upon seeing me, they reverted to their pretend We-are-good-boys stance. I raised an eyebrow at them, just so they would know that I wasn't buying their act. I sat down and started to eat. My stomach won't accept the food. I gave up on my third try and placed the bowl down on the table.
"What's the matter?" asked Yoh suddenly, who couldn't control his curiosity anymore. "Didn't you like my omelet?"
"I'm not hungry." I opened the refrigerator to check what our stock needs for this week.
"That's strange," remarked my fiancé thoughtfully.
That was one of the things I hate about him – he didn't know what he was suppose to know, and he knew what he was supposed to not know. "Do the grocery. We're out of milk and-" I stopped talking when I felt my stomach churn. I immediately went to the sink and threw up. Manta, Yoh, and Amidamaru watched me, astounded.
"Oh no! Does that mean that the milk I used for the omelet is spoiled already?" asked Yoh in a whisper.
Amidamaru shook his head. "Yoh-dono, I-I think it's some other reason."
Manta nodded in agreement.
~ * ~
Another reason? I frowned as my power spirit and my best friend looked at me inquiringly.
"Did you and Anna sleep together already?" asked Manta.
I rubbed my cheek. "Well…let's see…" I remembered the night before the start of the second preliminary match in America. I beamed proudly. "Yup, we did!"
I blinked when I got scandalized looks from them.
"Oh Kami-sama…it's true then…" My best friend's voice was barely above a whisper.
"You got Ms. Anna pregnant!"
"I did?" I echoed in surprise. "I wonder how I did it…"
I was slammed promptly by my fiancée, who had already recovered. She glared at Manta and Amidamaru. "And I thought you two couldn't get any dumber."
"Ouch…Anna, that hurts!" I complained, rubbing one of the bumps of my head that hasn't fully recovered yet. Her doing, of course. The only one licensed to hurt me that way.
She looked at me, then handed me a list. "Here. Buy these."
I nodded quickly, then glanced at the clock. "Hey, won't you be getting dressed yet? It's almost our class already!"
She shrugged. "I'm not coming to school today."
"I just don't want to."
I immediately felt that it was connected to her sudden vomiting. I felt my forehead crease. "A-Are you feeling well, Anna?"
She glared at me. "Mind your own business."
I frowned. "I won't go to school then too."
"Eh? Yoh-kun, we're going to have our test in Math and-" The rest of Manta's words were cut when I placed the grocery list in front of his face.
"Please do me a favor and get me these." I grinned at him as he sighed.
"I knew he would do that," whispered my friend to the power spirit. Amidamaru nodded.
As the two left the house, Anna turned to me, eyes narrowed. "I didn't ask you to stay here with me. You are already behind your classes, and Kino-sama won't like what she would see in your report card when the finals come."
"She never liked looking at my report cards even before," I said, grinning. "She said that she sees a lot of red."
"So what are you planning to do here?" she asked.
"Watch over you."
"You will just be wasting your time. I'm fine-"
"When people say they are fine, they usually mean they're not," I quipped.
She sighed. "Suit yourself." She headed for the television as I started to clear the table.
"Hey Anna, I was just wondering…what will I make for lunch today, huh?" I began as I wiped the table industriously. "I mean, it's better if I already know in advance what to make and-" I glanced at her. She was lying on the floor, motionless. The TV was off. "Anna?"
She didn't reply.
"Anna?" I let go of the rag and went to her immediately. My eyes widened upon seeing her eyes half-closed, her chest heaving laboriously as if she was catching her breath. I gingerly touched her forehead, then withdrew my hand away, frightened. "You have a fever!"
"N-Nonsense," she stammered. "W-Why would I…get sick?"
"I don't know," I admitted. "But you are! Let's get you to bed!"
I lifted her almost weightless body and carried her to her room.
I opened my eyes weakly. I could make out Yoh hurriedly putting out my robe. He then went to my side. "Anna, listen. We have to get you changed in much cooler clothes so the heat will come out of your body much faster. You have to change in your sleeping robe."
All I could do was nod. The strength to even utter a protest left my body.
He lifted my head gently and placed it on his lap. He then removed the beads from my neck and placed them on the bedside table. He took my strengthless hand and removed the beaded bracelet too. He tool off my bandanna next, then stopped uncertainly. He didn't have any idea on how to remove my black dress.
I had to admit, the situation was ridiculous. To think that he already is my fiancé, he has all the rights to see and touch me. But with the hesitation clearly depicted in his face right now, he must have forgotten that fact.
Finally, he grinned sheepishly. "Put this robe on first, then, you can take off your dress from beneath the blanket."
I reached for the robe, and even in my awful state of mind, I could feel I'm touched.
Yoh Asakura is a gentleman through and through.
I was relieved when she took the robe for me. I thought she was going to get mad at me for even daring to suggest such an uncomfortable thing for her to do. I closed my eyes when she got up to wrap herself with the white robe. Minutes later, I felt her tap me.
"I'm done," she said quietly.
I grinned, then took all her clothes and folded them neatly on the bedside table, together with her beads. I then helped her lie down the bed again.
I rolled my sleeves up. "I'm going to give you a sponge bath, if you don't mind."
A momentary pause, then she spoke up. "Do what you think is best."
I was taken aback. She was handing over the decision making for her to me?
That did it. Anna is really not feeling well.
I gasped when I felt the drenched towel touch my skin. I felt like I was being pierced mercilessly by a thousand needles again.
But after a while, I had to admit that I was starting to feel much cooler and relaxed. I forced my eyes to flap open.
Yoh was humming while squeezing the excess water into the basin. He then placed the towel on my forehead. He did a double take when he saw me gazing at me.
"How are you feeling, Anna?" he asked worriedly.
I didn't reply. I just kept on looking at him.
He nodded. "Sou desu. Maybe I should cook you some nice, warm soup. You haven't eaten anything yet for the day."
"What if this gets worse with your cooking?" I asked slowly.
He grinned. "Iie! Anna, I'll give all my furyoku to create an acceptable soup for you."
He said that in jest, but it tugged something in my heart. "Yoh…"
His eyes were confused. Perhaps, because I had never used that tone before when I call his name.
Thank you, that was what was on my mind. Instead, I said, "It better be edible."
He nodded and grinned. "Hai!"
All the pans were ready. So were the ingredients, as stated by the cookbook. But I still couldn't get started.
I glanced at the recipe, then sighed. I would have been more confident in cooking had Manta been here. He would then explain to me all those frightening cooking terms like sauté.
In the end, I decided to just throw away the recipe book and contact Ren. Chinese people are very good in cooking. I used my furyoku to call his attention.
In minutes, Ren was in the kitchen with me, gaping at the cooking utensils.
"This is the life and death emergency that you were talking about?" he asked incredulously.
"Anna is sick."
"That took you long enough to realize that."
"No, I mean, really sick. With fever." I looked at the bowl. "I need your help. I want to cook her a nice, warm soup, demo, I don't know how."
"So you need me to taste the seasoning?"
"No. I need you to teach me how to cook."
Ren's eyes widened. "You seriously think I can help?"
"Don't you know how to cook?"
"We have two dozens of cook back in my house. I do not need to learn," he said proudly.
"Oh." I looked down. "I would have asked Tamao, but Izumo is really far away."
He sighed. "What about Ryu?"
My eyes lit up. "O-Of course, Ryu! Why didn't I think of that?"
"Well, to start with, you have no brains to think with at all," Ren shrugged as I tried to contact Ryu of the Wooden Sword.
"He's not home," I said after a minute. "In fact, I can't sense his aura anywhere near the city."
"He must still be out, looking for his Best Place." Ren looked at the ingredients. "Hmm…I remember that Horo Horo has a younger sister. I'm sure that girl knows how to cook."
"Pirika?" I turned my attention next to calling Horo.
Within minute, Horo has joined us in the kitchen already too, minus Pirika.
"It's not you we need, it's your sister!" yelled Ren.
"What would you possibly want from my sister?" asked the Ainu, bewildered.
"Her cooking skills," Ren and I chorused.
Horo laughed and waved his hand. "Actually, Pirika is not much of a cook herself too. I had just learned to get used to her cooking because I have no choice."
"How about you, Horo? Don't you know how to cook?" I asked hopefully.
"Even without cooking skills, I'm still handsome," said Horo, to Ren's dismay.
"So, in short, you're useless here." The Tao made a shooing motion at the Ainu.
"Hey, you don't own this house! You can't make me leave just like that!" yelled Horo. "I traveled many mountains with my skateboard just to reach this place!"
"Ssh!" I hushed them beggingly. I was afraid that the noise would wake Anna up.
We all stopped when Anna ran past us, straight to the sink, and threw up.
Just like Amidamaru and Manta, the two had the scandalized look in their eyes.
"Y-You're a fast one, aren't you," said Horo to me, but looking at the itako.
I sighed. "It's not it."
"W-What are they doing here?" I asked after I had rinsed my mouth with water. I was drying my face.
Yoh looked at me worriedly. "I-I should have placed a basin by your side."
I looked at Yoh. "I'm not a handicapped person."
"She's sick in that case?" whispered Horo Horo furiously to Ren. I immediately glared at the two, then turned to my fiancé. "Why are they here?"
He grinned sheepishly. "Actually…I'm asking for their help to cook."
I eyed the two icily. "They look like they don't even know how to boil water to save their little lives."
"I beg to differ!" said Ren indignantly. "I know the boiling point of water."
Horo snickered. "He even sticks his hand into the kettle just to be sure."
I turned my eyes away from the two, who were pounding each other. I started to walk back into the room when I lost my balance. Yoh was swift enough to catch me.
"Careful," he murmured against my cheek. "You can't even walk all by yourself. What do you think would have happened when I decided to go to school?"
I couldn't reply. All I knew was I was letting him guide me back into my bedroom.
-------- I'll have to make this one shot a two part story. I won't be able to finish this today because we have some guests over who want to play counterstrike. See you tomorrow -------