a Shaman King fanfiction
Written by
: Miko-chan

Beta-read: Syaoran no hime
An unexpected visitor comes near to Asakura household, paying its respects to the ones he holds dear for their happiness... but what about his...
All of this characters are borrowed from Takei-san. Standard disclaimers apply. 'Reflection' by Christina Aguilera...
Author's Notes: The following story happened after Yoh became the Shaman King for a decade or less. Keep reading! Ja ne! Salamat kay Syao-chan!

Look at me
You may think you see who I really am
But you'll never know me
It's as if I play a part
Now I see
If I were a mask
I can fool the world
But I cannot fool my heart


Dark, outstretched manes caressed along the gentle ripples of the wind.

The night was clear of haziness from the usually moist atmosphere during the early days of spring, yet the silver moon did not allow today illuminating the land with its light. Instead the little pinpoints that embellish the gloomy horizon are given their chance to prove their worth. He silently thought that as small as they seem, they signify a great trepidation to their spectators whenever one of these tiny clusters are chosen to warn those who are called every half a thousand years....

He settled himself between the gaps of the enormous roots of the aged tree, its tranquil life force soothing and protective. As soon as his weary body had rested upon the wrinkled trunk, its branches lowered. It was beckoning and tempting to sleep...but no, he had to stay awake for this night. He felt relieved that these generous tree, unlike the other bits of wood, willingly accepted him that were silently rejecting his presence even as he remained beneath their shade for a moment. As those notions crossed upon his head, both wandering spirits and breathing creatures placed a safe distance away from him. He took no notice, as he relied upon the solemnity of the night to nurse him from the flicker of anxiety in his eyes. Had he been that evil? He knew that they were his allies, the reason that he wanted that ultimate power under his grasp was to give them the sense of importance that those damned humans had forgotten. However, when all his influence over the spirits of the earth were forcefully abandoned, the long-haired brunette was shunned away from everything. He suffered, wandering and alone, weak and helpless. Slowly he painfully regains his vanished strength but as soon as he could hold them tightly, they gradually recede into nothing. The world feared him. An empty being waiting for death to claim him.

Menacing. Powerful. Terrifying. All of these were clinging to him, as if he was the perfect living personification of those words. He purged the world with his energies, drowning it to the point where the earth trembled beneath his feet. But with one single defiant gaze from them, he was defeated until he reach the breaking realm that he will be returned again to the darkness... Snorting to himself in disgust, he never thought that being lonely would be a big thing in his life. Ever since that his powerful authority dominated everyone, all he thought that to gain companions was to make him to be feared. At the same time, his "faithful" collaborators would do all the bidding of his words. But never to let them touch your essence, for when the time either of the hour glory arises or the minute of everything crushing into shambles will they leave you again...He never wanted lives to be perished, staining with their ashes between his palms. Perhaps, if fate have no given such a role to him--a part of a story wherein he supposed to play as an evil, sadistic and I'll-take-over-the-world villain--then he could have been eternally at peace.

It was foolish to contemplate about such sentimentalities, he resolved firmly. Emotions that were vulnerable and fragile must be prohibited to penetrate to his head if he wants to save his sanity. Then, again, nagging voices in your head shall always torment you mercilessly. They were silently screaming that he needs...squirm...comfort.

That was painful.

He wished that he can reach, but would be someone there to hold out his hand?

He let out an exasperated breath. There would be--an image of him flashed before his mind--but will he gain the courage? And her... He could never have her.

Sometimes, like these nights, he wondered if they knew that they always reside in his thoughts. That they were very dear to him, as precious as he would ever give value to anything in this world.

He suddenly sat rigidly, forgetting his relaxed posture when a faint crackling sound echoed deep in the foliage of trees. He was still recuperating but that never meant that his reputation for being legendary was all a faux. He sat, waiting and analyzing the aura that brought cold breezes. The creature was breathing too calm for a wanderer, and steps were too calculated to be a beast. Finally when it reached him, a pair of hard mahogany orbs stared at him, adorned with mixtures of scarlet and golden strands.

Knowing the newly arrived guest, he accompanied his facade with a light smile, shrewd and deceiving. "Good evening." he greeted with a whimsical air. He pivoted his head towards her direction. Behind him was a young woman, with her hair awhirl in fair colored locks enclosed within a soft, silky red cloth. He assimilated her glare and the same black outfit that she always wore, her eyes still conveying the same message. He can still read minds, but he never had to do that when he was in process of taking her in his senses. She tightened her lips as if holding some biting remark beneath, processing them inside her head. Looking at him like an irritating insect...

Did she really want to get rid of him?

"What are you doing here?" Softly spoken terms, yet holding it was bitterly sharp around its edges. Her fingers were clearly clenching, itching to wrap them around her beads. Deciding that it would was worth it to play along her little game of nonchalance, he would act what would make the most impassive woman cringe.

He responded amusedly, beaming with laughter on his yes. "Why of course," he candidly replied, "I am graciously invited to your wedding ceremony."

"I did *not* invite you." came the scathing response.

He chortled, the odd sound creeping in the silence. Apparently, he also deliberated that she would never do such a thing. "It was obvious that he was the one responsible for the matter." The dark-haired brunette shook his head in disbelief, at how certain, small-- but greatly appreciated--things that his younger brother usually does. He raised his dark coal eyes to icy onyx ones. "He never told you?"

There was doubt hanging thickly on the air...

"Here" Well, if she demands for actual proof for his admittance, he's prepared for it. Underneath his thin, tattered cloak, he drew out a small white parcel along a crumpled paper with carelessly written scribbles. Somehow, this piece of worn out manuscript was able to preserve in an unknown difficulty.

She relentlessly paced towards him, with features scowling. As soon as she was within arms reach of that 'malicious' object, her hand snatched the object. The young man beamed at her, while the woman glowered further. Her eyes speculated the familiar script on the heading of their invitation...

There was also a notebook torn paper, laidback written characters laden with fading ink.

However, she was vaguely astounded why there was a careful scribble below it...


"That idiot" she whispered with restrained emotion.

"He shall never change"

He ceased to gaze at her, engrossing himself to the oblivious crystals hanging in the sky. He opened his mouth to speak again, but was cut off by her chiding voice.

"Why should he blame himself from what happened to you?" She paused, then spoke again "Why?" Nearly barking in annoyance. It was you, her head shouted, It is your fault that he is suffering. Why should he be the one to blame for your misfortune?

"You know that he never wants to hurt anyone." he stirred from the stars to the myriad of trees infront of him, the darkness enveloping calmly relieving his tired body. "He did not mean to seal me off as an furyoku would not regenerate again"

"Living now as an ordinary shaman of no extraordinary skill." She finished, not giving a damn if she had severely injuring him with her bitter words. "Not even enough to Oversoul"

His eyes flashed with an austere aura, burning with a promise "I will return to my proper strength, since Yoh will nearly finish his duties as the Shaman King." The rim of his ki thinned, as the young lady had a wide expression upon her face when his alarming aura dissipated slowly. "I hated him, deep down inside me. He angered me so much, when I was so near in reaching my goals..." he gripped his fist, bruising his palm with his ragged nails. "...Very near."

Then with bated breath, he relaxed his fingers with wasting anxiety.

"I realized that either he will either secure my capabilities or giving another chance to face death."

"Idiot. He knows that both of those options would not work."

"He should have killed me." That would have been better.

"Yes. But he didn't"

"That would have really saved his time...I do not deserve his so-called 'compassion'"

"You deserve it." Harsh. Severe. Wound him. "You deserve to live so you can suffer."

"I do not know that. All I wanted was to build a world for both of you." he countered, smile faintly traced on his lips. "Why could he not see it? The pain that was built by this worthless humans, each passing second I can hear screams of a mortal soul being tortured or the soil groaning in protest...I even once heard both of your hearts, either want to cry out or just stay unmoving."

"Worthless as they are, I never wanted the silence it will cause. I'm afraid of it." Her eyes revealed her hidden qualms of her being. The young woman with an essence of the most unbreakable blade and the frosty impressions also had a brittle glass of emotions. "If it were not from them, I could have never found him."

He nodded, acknowledging behind the tenderness in her words. It was because of that special individual that this era still evolved in their existence living their petty lives. As if these humans thought that the whole cosmos revolve because of their egocentric views...His little brother does not deserve such treatment, risking himself and hurting him too, just to let them continue doing their greedy cravings...

No wonder that she loved him.

"Why do you love him?" he blurted out, both were astonished. The lady, at his question, and himself, from the swift flow of words from his mouth without any control. He stood up, the accumulated pebbles beneath his feet crushed into gravel.

She became skeptical, rising one eyebrow in suspicion. "WHO are you to ask me that?"

The fierce look that she radiated was enough to make you fidget.

Fortunately, he was always ready for that instances that she would punish you with her infamous death glare. He beamed up with his most jovial smile, radiating unconvincing purity of a handsome man like him could muster. "I am your fiancé's older brother." he smirked, her lips almost twitching. "I will be also becoming your brother-in-law." He bowed in a mock amusement. "Do I need to say more?"

"Yes, moron. It is not enough reason as you think." This time, the death glare fumed into a dangerous level. He felt a little uneasy, wondering if itakos could butcher their desired target with a minimum of slaps and choking them with beads...

But it was quite unusual, yet a sight to see, the faint flush in her ivory cheeks...

"I can equally, or even much more than that, provide what you desire. An easy life." he stated firmly, eyes gazing with an absolute resolve. "You denied me."

Her mask was still stoic, but you could not help but notice the softening of her features. As if by built with memories that could not be fathomed within...Memories are only follies of the mind, a mere obstruction what was destined for you to do...

But it will always be Ototo's smile, imprinted there...for her.

He badly craves to become insane...uh....he already was...

"It was his duty to become the Shaman King. I believed him, and he did not fail me." Her head held high in mute pride for her fiancé. "He promised to give me an easy life, he did since from the day I loved him." It all became hushed and inaudible. Breaking her in. "You cannot offer what he can give me. And that is...."

"To love?" He scoffed.

"No." She grumbled at how idiotic both of them could be. "...that I am free."

There is no need for masks, for he can see through them. There is no need for chains or prisons in my heart, for there is something gentle out in the world. I can trust, not depend upon others. I can finally get away from those weaknesses I despise, for after all he showed me that I am Anna, not somebody else.

"And that is what you could not give me, for you only remind me how foolish I were before." She finished at last, revealing a small portion of her fathomable passions. Golden curls framed along her chin, glowing with reverence at the blunt rejection she uttered a moment ago. Her listener felt an unusual tug of tight strings somewhere in the middle of his chest, comprehending the fact that there was no chance for him to have this instant again. The impassiveness, and yet marveling at her beauty at all...because she loved his brother.

"I hope he knows that." he bitterly remarked.

"I do not intend to tell him." Her jaw set in a determined posture.

"Why?" He came closer to her, steps light yet nearing to her. Suddenly, the blonde realized that they were dangerously close. Reaching to the point that he was over towering her, the shadows beneath his eyes alighting with something unreadable. "You are not hard to love, Anna-san." His presence was warm, comforting. But it was filled with despair...

"I try to be detached as possible." I am frightened. Maybe in the end, I shall be vulnerable. I do not want that to happen.

"That makes him love you more than you think.." his arms suddenly wrapped around her thin form, trapping both of her hands in the crush of his embrace. Somehow, she almost heard from the whisper of his heart that 'him' refers to them both.

Two different bodies, beating the same heart, flowing with the same blood.

Just this once. He lowered his head towards her, hidden by his raven locks. She made no movement, either forward or stepping back. He merely formed an awkward circle around her waist, enwrapping along the mad sway of the scarlet cloth from her head. He did not wait for anything to happen, be slapped or be pushed away. Resting his forehead to hers, he made the contact....

She remained unmoved, solid from her spot. She did not opened her lips, neither budged her body towards him or entwine her arms around him. She merely stood like a ruthless statue she is.

He pulled away, enjoying the warmth and sensation tingling in his body. But there was the sucking void inside, fading those emotions back again in their proper places. She whispered, breath tickling him.

"Don't ever touch me again." A useless threat of death.

Yet he was afraid.

Afraid to reach out to her.

He turned, the whirl of his mantle dancing along the sudden blast of the piercing winds. No one would be allowed to point out that he truly admitted that he was lost. "I wish for your happiness." Or else...

"I have always been" For the first time, she complied without any malice. "And will always be content with him" A note of joy within those words, a hymn of a peaceful maiden to her beloved.

He did not know how could she be beckoning yet repulsing.

It did not matter anyway.

Tomorrow, she would be an entirely new person.

Then her footsteps began to fade, the grass brushing against to her feet. The earth paying homage to the queen of ice.

Review minna! Arigatou for Syao-chan's kindness for having some time to beta-read my work!

This will be a three-fold hang up in there!