Just Another Day
A/N: Umm, hello. Long time no see! About this one-shot... It was supposed to be Anna narrating this but after paragraph one, I decided it would be Yoh. Uh, just changed the idea. If you want to know how it was going to be at first, for those who can read Spanish, I am posting "Una fiebre que arde como el fuego" which turned out to be completely different from this. You might notice the similarity between the first paragraphs though. About the fic's name, when I was in 9th grade, a group of friends and myself worked on the junior high school's newspaper (which was small but our own idea, and now our school is the only one in the area with it's own paper, plus it is written completely by the students) and I was the editor. A friend of mine and co-editor was the one to draw the comic (each month a different story) and I colored it, its name was "Just Another Day." I liked it and took it, hehe.
Disclaimer: You know the story folks...
-JUST ANOTHER DAY-
I open my eyes slowly, feeling the warm sun rays over them. The summer breeze's scent filling the room. I stare absentmindedly at the ceiling, both of my arms to my sides. I take a lung-full of fresh air and exhale once more. I can't help but smile. Another day has come... just another day and I am very, very happy. I don't know why though. I continue to breath slowly... I am still sleepy but I try to stand up. The movement has been too quickly and drowsiness soon invades my sore body, giving me a slight head-ache. My arms are weak, they can't handle my own weight. I flop onto my futon once more.
I am more tired than usual. Too much of Anna's training... I guess. I give myself a weak smile and close my eyes. The girl's got some nerves. I breath in, breath out. That's all by body can handle now. I feel a soft hand caressing my cheek and I smile. Even with my eyes closed, I can tell it's her. I don't need to see her to know it's her. Her scent and powerful aura tell me so.
"Were you awake?" Her voice is as soft as her hand.
"Yes..." I open my eyes to find her kneeling next to my futon. She has changed over the years.
"Then, stand up and make breakfast," she orders smoothly as she pulls the covers down unexpectedly. I stir when I suddenly feel very cold.
Maybe not as much as I thought.
"But..." I try to complain, my body still hurts from yesterday's training session.
"Do as I say."
Oh well... I guess I'll have to 'summon' to her commands. He, he, he.
She stands up and prepares to leave my room so I can change from my yukata. I turn to see her, she is also in hers, why didn't I noticed it before? A sheepish grin is forming in my face. I was too focused on her lips... She turns to look at me and leans lightly on the door frame.
Dammit. She must have read my mind. I hate it when she does so. I feel so... naked. Like if I were in the palm of her hand. But still, it means she cares enough to wonder what I am thinking, right? That feeling I do like it, knowing that she cares. She is just... lovely.
She looks at me oddly and arches a brow. Oh, shut the hell up, Yoh! If I continue like this I'll get extra training. Hell no!!! ...I stare back at her.
"Is there something...?" I ask calmly.
"No, I'll go change now. When I go down, you better be already making breakfast. Understood?" she says even more calmly than me.
Thank you God! She didn't say anything.
"Yes, ma'm!" I smile brightly at her.
She turns too leave but then looks over her shoulder. "Hurry up," she says urging me to stand up, "I want you to go with me somewhere."
She closes the door. Somewhere? Has she found a new training ground? Oh, no! I panic for a while, but then I realize that if I serve breakfast late, THEN, I should panic. I stand up quickly, it is much easier that it was before. I am still a little dizzy though, and realize I am really hungry.
I look at my alarm clock, which is always on the floor next to my futon. It is already past 10! Anna would usually had waked me up by 5 to start my dawn training and then breakfast would have been ready by 6, and... why? And now that I think of it, she didn't mention anything about training... Wait, today is Sunday, right? Maybe... well, I don't have time to think about it right now.
I slip the yukata off my shoulders and drop it to the floor. I look at the scars on my sides and memories flood through my mind... A chill runs my body and I hurry to the wooden closet to grab my pants and a shirt. I put them on. Then my belt... I look around the place and search for a rubber band in my drawers. I carelessly gather my shoulder-lenght, brown hair into a loose pigtail.
I look around my messy room, nothing compared to Anna's neat and clean one. I must clean-up before she gets mad about it. On one of the corners there is a pile of cd's, one over the other. The pile seems be about to fall as I retreat on of the cd's. Boblove. I open my cd player and place it on the supporter of my belt. I place the orange headphones over my ears. The tune is soft, I like it. Unlike Anna, who rather likes to read fat, boring books or watch tv through all day, I prefer to hear music.
I walk up to the mirror and look satisfied at my image reflecting on it. I stare at the black, three-clawed collar hanging from my neck. It was given to me at age 10. When I met her. I never wear it off, not even to sleep or bath. It had been a present from Matamune, as a reminder of my promise to him, to her, and to myself. And from that day on, she treated me in a different way... yet, never showing she cared for me. She can be so subtle at a times, you know? I was very happy, I had someone who understood how I felt.
I still remember the stinging feeling in my cheek of the very first slap she gave me, the same day she first made me cry. The red-print of her hand needed three days to fade off from my swollen cheek. I think I exaggerated on thinking she wouldn't care if I said she was cute with her new dress, neither if I kissed her cheek. Oh, how wrong I was! She was seething in pure anger and rage. Her 10-year-old strength seemed of an elephant to me. And I was just a little, little bug.
I laugh at the memory. I was too naive back then and didn't know too much about girls, just that they can be quite annoying some times. Yet, knowing about girls wouldn't make such a difference for she isn't like any other girl. She is like a whole new level, out of the standards, out of my comprehension. And even throughout the years, she is still a mystery to me.
Remember, Yoh, you must hurry, don't wanna know what Anna will do to you if breakfast is late... like last week. I have to do it as soon as I can. I walk out of my room. As I go to the stairs, I pass by her room. She is still there. Good, I have time. I can hear her humming and then singing an old song. She's got a beautiful voice. I love it when she sings, though she doesn't even know I've heard her, more than once, hidden behind a her door. If she did... I don't want to think what she'll do to "silence" me about it.
I run quickly down the stairs and go straight to the kitchen. But I must say that the house is strangely quiet. Well, that's odd. Usually, it wouldn't be just the two of us, even it sometimes I like being alone with her. At least one or two guests would already be waiting for breakfast or in their way to our house. But since a week or two, the house has been more than quiet...
Manta is on a trip over Europe. Something about learning the ways of family business. About Ren, he is at China, it is his father's birthday, I think. He said he'd be back in two weeks or so. Tamao came over a couple of weeks ago too, I was so relieved I didn't have to do the cooking, but she returned to Izumo last week. Horo Horo and his sister, umm, Hokkaido maybe? I haven't seen him in a while, actually since a month ago. Ryuu still comes every once in a while but he has been busy with exams from high school and hanging out with his gang. Yes, believe it or not, he returned to school and even is looking forward to college. Lyserg must be at London right now, he wrote a letter a month ago. Chocolove was out on a show tour. Faust... no clue. He said he'd return in a couple of months. Hmm, that's suspicious. He is still creepy... Note to myself, must gather everyone at home for a party or something. I bet Anna will say yes if I promise to do all the chores and train extra hard, without whinning.
Now that I think of it, where is Amidamaru? He, he. I laugh in the most silly way you could think of, if Anna saw me she would have muttered something under her breath about stupid fiancés... I guess my power spirit and friend must be at the graveyard. He has been there a lot lately, except for the trainings or when I call him. I think it is ok for him to have some friends, even if he is a ghost, I guess he might want someone like him to talk to.
Uh. I sigh heavily. I open the fridge and look at everything inside. Eggs, milk, juice, jam, bacon... What can I do today? I look over the cupboard, flour, some vegetable and tuna cans, salt & sugar... Uh, mustn't confuse those two like last time. I continue looking at the things in the cupboard when I finally decide myself on today's breakfast.
I take a new apron from one of the kitchen's cabinets, the old one got burned in a little 'accident' I had when trying to make a sufflé. Guess you can't play with fire, huh? I put it on. I look for a big bowl, two plates, two glasses, and a pan inside a second cabinet; a fork, a spoon, and a spatula in a third one. I take out everything I will use from the fridge and the cupboard and place them in the counter.
I crack some eggs and pour them into the bowl, mixing them with the fork and adding some milk. I open the pancake mix bag with caution, as to not let its content to fall to the floor, which I carefully cleaned yesterday. It took me all my afternoon cleaning it, inch by inch, every spot shiny, as Anna had... kindly requested. I pour the amount of flour needed on the bowl, using a spoon to mix everything. I leave the bowl with the mix on the counter so I can heat the pan and later add some butter. I pour some mix to the pan and let the pancake to cook before I turn it on the other side with the spatula. The process of pouring and turning is repeated while I take out a second pan to fry some bacon.
"Whew, I'm overdoing myself! "
I sigh. I am tired but I am not done yet. I turn the fire off from both, the pancake and the bacon pans. French toasts! I almost forgot them. I take look for the bread on the table, Anna doesn't like bread that isn't done at the bakery next to the flower shop. I smile at the lilies in the vase next to the box where we use to keep the bread. She actually 'made' me buy them, or so she thought. I would have bought them even without her asking me to do so. It was a week ago, when we went for the groceries at Heiyu, and passed by the small shop. It was one of the few times she decided to go with me. Guess she didn't want to be left alone in the house. When I think of it, she is so much alike me sometimes. Hmm, I better get her new flowers.
"Is breakfast ready?" I turn around to meet her, she has just entered the kitchen wearing her usual black dress. The blue beads always around her neck. The read bandana in her hand, I guess she'll put it on later, for she never uses it during breakfast.
"Almost." I grin at her.
I turn back to what I was doing and put some slices of bread in the toaster and then I serve the pancakes on the plates, clay some butter onto them and pour nice, bee-honey in each. Me like honey! I put the bacon on the side of the pancakes. Once I am done, I look at the plates satisfied, all the while being observed by Anna's careful watch. For my surprise she takes the plates over to the table without saying a word, placing them one in front of her seat and one next to her. Then she sets the cutlery and takes some napkins from the closet. She sits quietly.
I smile at her once again. I have recently noticed how I tend to do that much more frequently when she's around. While I wait for the bread to pop out of the toaster I clean everything as much as I can. Putting the used utensils, bowls, and pans in the sink. Uh, I must wash the dishes after we finish eating. Well... I hear the click of the toaster. I take the slices of bread out, regretting my reckless act.
"Ouch!!!" I cry when the hot bread burns my fingers.
"What are you waiting for? Hurry up I am hungry," she says getting frustated.
I place the bread on a plate, still whinning about my burnt fingers. I take out some butter and strawberry jam for the bread. I open the juice box and serve equal amounts of it on our glasses. I am doing all this at incredible speed to say the least. I run to her holding the glasses of juice and the french toasts in a tray.
I place the tray on the table and sit next to her.
"Breakfast is served!" I smile cheerfully at her.
"Hn," she mumbles something more but I can't hear her clearly.
We eat quietly. I try to speak to her and we end in a casual conversation. You know, trainings, school, and trainings.
"Anna-chan? Why did you let me sleep so late?" I ask quietly, looking at my plate. She has grown to accept me calling her that, obviously after hours... days of arguments and complaints from her.
"I overslept," she simply states.
But that itself is strange... she never oversleeps, even if she doesn't come down and stays in her room, she is one of the firsts to wake up.
The rest of the breakfast is quieter. I am about to stand up to refill my glass with juice but then she stops me, tugging my shirt.
"Here," she says handing me a bottle with pills. "They will help you ease the pain from yesterday's training. I think I was too harsh on you yesterday." I can sense a bit of... remorse in her last sentence. Wait, did she actually said that?!
"Ah..." I had already forgotten the pain in my arms. I was so focused on making breakfast, making her happy, that I forgot about it. I took the bottle for her, though. "Thank you, Anna."
She nods and waits. She stares at me and frowns. She finally decides to say something.
"Take two," she says looking at me, "even if it isn't that bad. I don't want you whinning later."
"Uh, ok." I quickly follow her orders and sip some of juice I've just served on my glass as I try to pass them through my throat. I don't like taking pills at all, but I must say they are quite effective to wash off some of the pain... at least the physical pain, hehe.
After seeing I have done what told, she continues eating her breakfast as I walk back to sit next to her and continue eating what is left of my breakfast.
"It was... edible," she says as she finishes her meal and walks over to leave her plate and glass in the sink.
I grin at her, a comment like that must mean she really liked the food.
"Clean the kitchen and wash the dishes when you are done." I nod once while I finish my own breakfast. "After that, go buy the groceries. I left you the list of everything we need for this week and the money on the entrace's counter. Don't waist too much time and bring something to eat. I don't want to wait while you cook or else burn down my kitchen."
'YOUR kitchen? But you barely boil the water! I AM ALWAYS the one who cooks!' I think as I look around for some way out but her steady stare is upon me, not moving... frightening. No, no way out.
"Hai..." I sigh audible. I hate going shopping, I mean, can't she go for once? Or at least she can go with me, like last time. I brighten up at the idea and start smiling, "Anna, want to come with me?"
"No," she sounds determined. When she decides something it is very difficult for me to change her mind, sigh. "I've got things to do," she says when he sees my smile drop a little.
"Oh, what things?" Shut up, Yoh! Stop being curious, you'll regrets it! Shut up! "I mean... if you want to tell..."
"Mind your own business," she states firmly, but yet she doesn't look THAT angry.
Oh, well... that wasn't TOO bad.
"When you are done with everything I told you to do, go look for me, I'll be at the leaving room. We'll have to hurry up if we want to arrive there in time."
"Arrive where?" I ask innocently.
"Don't ask questions." She glares at me and then leaves the room with no hesitation.
I laugh nervously and nod as she leaves. I am supposed to be used to that kind of answers but it seems I am a *little* thick-minded. Oh, well, I'll never desist on 'melting' her ice exterior. I actually believe we've made a little progress on that matter. She smiles more often than she use to and, at the times, laughs after some joke I tell her, always when we are alone of course. She says 'good morning' instead of her usual grunt and also 'please' and 'thank you' more often. I've learned that her favorite flowers are lilies and that she likes to read fiction novels. Stuff like that. There are still more things I need know but it is fun to learn new things about her. And, hey, I've got plenty of time. Believe me.
After a while, I finish cleaning the kitchen and washing the dishes as er, ordered. I pass by the leaving room and hear noises, yep, she must be watching tv or a movie. I've got things to do, huh? I ready myself to go out, wearing my wooden sandals and holding the market bag in my left hand. Heiyu isn't all that far away but I must hurry if I want to go to the flower shops and then stop my the river to... think. I close the door behind me after putting the money and the grocery list on my wallet.
"I think that's all," I say grinning as I check I've bought everything in the list.
I wait for the cashier to give me my change. As Anna says, 'a cent is a cent.' I exit the store and remember I still got to buy the bread and... her flowers. I don't take too much time doing so, though, remembering her orders. As I come out from the flowershop with a dozen of fresh lilies in one hand and the groceries in the other, I hurry because I see the sky already turning into bright yellow and orange colors.I don't think she will get mad if I stay a little while by the bridge, hehe.
"Taidama!" I shout as I enter the house, but there is no one there to answer back. Anna must still be at the leaving room.
On my way to the kitchen, I notice the phone on the small desk in the hallway. Manta actually HAD to pay for it, for the line, the installment, and even pays the rent, so that Anna finally accepted having one in the house. Guess Manta doesn't care though, he calls when he is too busy to drop by. It has become quite useful, but Anna doesn't let me stay up too much time either. Well, that's Anna for you anyway... There is a notepad next to it. Uh? I've never seen it before... I watch amused the scribbles on it, Anna's handwriting, but... I remember she said something about arriving in time...
After putting everything on its place and changing the flowers on the vase, I walk over to the leaving room. She is there, laying down as she flips through the channels with the remote control. Seems like she doesn't find anything of interest.... I give a loud thump as I sit in the floor next to her. She looks at me and frowns.
"What took you so long?" she demands to know, but I simply smile at her. "Well, forget about the meal, we don't have enough time."
She sits up and is ready to stand up. I prevent her from doing so, pulling her to me and hugging her slightly. I can tell she is quite shocked for she is speechless. I've mastered the ways of surprising her... hehe. She is all tensed up.
"Yoh... I..." she mutters.
"Just... let me rest for a while. I promise we'll leave then. Just a couple of minutes." I say closing my eyes and sighing. I can imagine the huge grin I have on my face and how goofy I must look. But it feels so nice to hold her. That's a thing I've grown to like, holding her. I expect a slap after this but it is ok.
"Oh..." she mumbles softly and then relaxes her body.
I tighten my hold as I prepare to leave her warmth. It is time to go. I carefully stand up, taking her up with me and then, after lingering on my hold on her... I finally let her free. I smile at her as she looks up at me. I scratch my head absentmindedly and laugh nervously. I stand in front of her, not moving from my place, waiting for the slap. I wait... and wait. And she still looks at me.
"A-Anna?" I ask unsure, at the same time, snapping her from her thoughts.
"Oh... I, let's go," she says returning to reality and grabbing her bandana and her purse.
She drags me to the entrance and stops in front of the mirror to her right. She brushes her mass of golden hair with her hand and then puts on her bandana, making a small knot at the back of her head. She turns to me while I am putting my wooden sandals again. She hurries me as she quickly puts her own on and pulls me out of the house.
"Anna-chan, where are we going?" I say after seeing that our path leads us to nowhere I really know of. I try to sound as sweet as possible, maybe she'll give me a proper answer then.
"Walk. You'll know once we get there." She says walking ahead of me after giving me a bump on my head.
"Ouch! What did ya do that for?!" I cry as I rub my head.
"Just shut up."
I look at her confused. I am dead curious about this place we are going to. I open my mouth to ask again, and close it, open it again to try once more, and close it again. I am whinning softly actually, making strange sounds more than words. I am really getting worked up too much, right? But, hell, that bump hurt and I still have no answers. She moved her head in sign of disapprovement and resignation. Yes, Anna, I think you are getting the idea of my frustration. I want to know what's going on! The reason? There is something too suspicious about this, call me whatever you like, but I know she has something planned.
We walk a more couple of blocks and end up in a huge, one-floor building, one I had never noticed before. I think I haven't even been on this side of Fumbari. I look at her quizically but she just turns to me and with one of her looks, tells me to follow her. I do so. Oh God, what am I getting into? I stop my tracks as we get in front of the building's entrance. She mumbles something about not worrying over silly things, offering her hand. Now, THIS is getting too suspicious. And yet, I can't decline such offer. I take her hand and walk behind her as she leads our way into the building.
She opens a door with her free hand after checking the words inscription on the badge next to it. I can barely read one of the words, 'salon,' as he drags me inside the room. I have a hard time adjusting to the darkness inside it. I can barely distinguish some forms. She loosens her grip and walks away from me. Probably to turn the lights' switch on, I think.
"A-Anna? Where are you?" I mutter after a time has passed and she hasn't come back.
Bright lights turn on as soon as I finish my sentence as if to answer my question. They are too bright and they are blinding me a bit.
"SURPRISE!!!" screams a chorus of voices.
I rub my eyes in disbelief. I must say I am startled. There, in front of me, were all of my friends. Everyone. The music starts, it is Bob! It is also my favorite! I look around to take a long view of the big room. Two tables where set, one with food, another with chairs for plenty of people to sit in. The lights turn into colored ones and change to the music's rhythm.
"Guys?" I say, still trying to forget my past shock. Anna, that was next to the light switch, walks up to me.
"Go with them!" she says hurrying me and pushing me towards my friends. "I didn't waste all that time for nothing." I walk up to them, along with Anna.
"Happy Birthday." She says bluntly as she stares at all the people gathered in the room.
"What?" I am totally confused, looking from her to everyone else in search for an answer.
"You surely are dim-witted," says Ren annoyed as he is hit on his side by Jun with her elbow. "Hey! He IS!" he scowls.
"My... birthday?" I ask yet more confused.
"Master Yoh, you didn't forgot, did you?" Amidamaru comes out from nowhere, startling me.
"Waaa!!! Amidamaru you scared me!" I say as my spirit quickly apologizes.
"DANNA!! Happy birthday, danna!!" Ryuu pops out from nowhere hugging me tightly... it creeps me all out...
"Uh, Ry-ryuu??" I ask nervously as he releases me and beams at me.
"Yoh-kun, today is your 16th birthday, don't you remember?" Manta approaches me.
"Manta! You too!" I smile brightly at my short friend.
"Today is May 12th, your birthday Yoh-san," Tamao says. She blushes furiously as Horo Horo gets nearer.
"Don't worry, Tamao-chan, Yoh always forgets about things." He says giving the pink-headed girl a slight grin and leaning an arm on her shoulder. I am quite confused about their behavior, why is Horo Horo acting so... normal?
"Reminds me of someone, doesn't it brother?" squeals Pilica.
"Bah," Ren laughs at the girl's comment.
"WHAT?!" The Ainu turns to him as they set off to another of their infamous fights.
I look at everyone else in the room. Faust was there with Elisa, leaving the rest of the world out of their own of course. Ryuu had brought the rest of his gang. Lyserg was there too, talking with Chocolove, and everyone's spirits, including Pailong, even Mosuke.
"Thank you, everyone, for coming, for doing this." I say still a little shocked.
"But Danna, the one you should thank is Anna-okami," Ryuu says speaking before anyone else says anything.
"You did this, Anna-chan?" I turn to look at her curiously, I wonder how could she have done all of this without me noticing.
"I merely made some arrangements," she says like it was something as normal as breathing.
"But, Anna, everyone was supposed to be..." I try to make her confess.
"Oh, don't make a fuss over it!" she says exasperated. "Have fun!" Her tone has changed to a slightly playful one, she is happy, and she smiles at me widely.
I guess that is the best gift anyone could have given to me. Imagine that, it had started like just another day.
A/N: There, done and ready for you to read. Whoah! THAT was long. Well, that was also one of the weirdest endings I ever written ¬.¬ I must say, first of all, that I want to thank everyone who has reviewed past fics. You guys are so great!!! T.T I feel so blessed someone actually reads what I write. I dedicated this fic to Kira-san, since she reviewed every of my stories and finished "Endless Days" so.. so... oh, it was wonderful. And then she wrote "Frozen Ray" and... Anyway, I'm finally back. It's been a long time, ne? Well, I leave you to go on scribbling my cra...stories. Now, if you want to see Anna's birthday, "Just make a wish," is your fic, yet is also different.... but that you'll have to read it by yourselves, or until I post it, hehe. Ja ne!