(A/N: Here I am again, at long last, I WILL finish 'Why So Shy Tamao' even if it means that I finish NOTHING ELSE! Oh, and I think my Japanese dictionary is just about done, so I don't really need to post anything else. Besides, I've noticed that many of you all use Japanese in your own fics, so you're aware of what most of this means already. So without further ado, here it is: Chapter 7: GONE)

Chapter 7: Gone!

Back at the mansion, Hao arrives home, without Lyo following him. He comes to the front gate, trudging with despair, to where Yoh, Anna, and Tamao wait for him.

Hao: (Depressed) "Lyo, Lyo-kun, he's gone. All we can do now is wait..."

Tamao: "H-Hao-kun, you're not serious, are you?" She holds her hands over her face and shakes at the shoulders. She begins crying into her hands.

Hao: He places an arm around Tamao's shoulder and leads her inside.

Yoh: He reaches to Tamao to try and help her back into the house.

Anna: She swats Yoh's hand away and glares at Yoh with a 'don't you try it' expression on her face.

Hao: (attempting comforting) "Tamao-kun, it'll be okay. Lyo's not dead. He'll come out of the tunnel someday..."

Anna: She drags Yoh inside by his collar and shuts the door after Yoh is tugged in completely.

(Yoh's and Anna's room)-----

Yoh takes a seat on his bed, the bed on the left with the dark blue sheets. Anna comes into the room and shuts the door behind her, then takes a seat on her bed, the one with the right with the bright red sheets.

Anna: She pulls her knees up to her chin and closes her eyes, trying to forget what had just happened. Lyo went to the tunnel. Tamao must be devastated. Nobody leaves that tunnel, despite what Hao is trying to tell Tamao... She sighs.

Yoh: He stretches out over his bed. "Hey, Anna-chan, something on your mind?"

Anna: She turns away from Yoh and curls up into a ball. "Iye, Yoh-chan. It's just been a long day..."

Yoh: "Nani, Anna-chan? Was it something Lyo said when he pulled you aside?" He leans back on his bed.

Anna: Yoh-chan... If that was you who went into that tunnel, anata, I wouldn't know the first thing to do... I feel really guilty for telling Lyo about the tunnel. It's partially my fault for Tamao being so sad. I know that if Yoh went into the tunnel, I'd cry my eyes out in my room all alone... She closes her eyes. (whispering) "Yoh-chan, let me take a rest, okay?"

Yoh: He lays on his bed and snores loudly.

Anna: She grins lightly and stares at Yoh over her shoulder. You're so sweet, Yoh-chan... I can't wait for the day when you are finally crowned Shaman King... She closes her eyes and drifts away to sleep.

(Hao's room)-----

Hao takes a seat on his bed and leans back, throwing his cape to the ground. He shoots a glare at an unilt candle on a nearby table, and the candle catches fire and illuminates the room. He stares up at the ceiling and puts his hands behind his head, lounging back. A light knocking can be heard at his door.

Hao: (to the one knocking at the door) "Oji-san? Ototou? Anna-sama? Who is it?"

Voice: (stuttering) "T-T-Tamao..."

Hao: He jumps off his bed and dons his cape quickly. He approaches the door to open it. He is astonished at what he sees.

Tamao: She stands timidly at the doorway, with her arms at her sides. She stares up at Hao. (stuttering) "H-H-Hao-s-sama?"

Hao: " I said that you could call me Hao-chan."

Tamao: "Well, hai but... m-my room is so cold and dark, and, I was wondering if-if-"

Hao: (interrupting) "Wanna' come in?"

Tamao: Her face lights up bright red. "I-I uh..." (meekly) "...onegai?"

Hao: (cheerily) "Hai, Tamao-kun." He takes Tamao's hand and pretty much drags Tamao into his room.

Tamao: (nervously) "Y-you can call me Tammy-chan. Lyo-chan always used to do that..."

Hao: He bites his lip and swallows hard before saying his next statement. (nervously) "Well, Lyo-kun will call you that again when he gets back..."

Tamao: "Y-you think so, Hao-Hao...chan?"

Hao: He continues to pull Tamao along, to his bed, where the two take a seat.

A long pause ensues.

Tamao: (breaking the silence) "Hao-chan, did you see Lyo before he went into the tunnel?"

Hao: "Hai. I did."

Tamao: "Did he say anything?"

Hao: "He said lots of things. But I don't think that's what you were getting at..."

Tamao: "I wasn't... What else did he say?"

Hao: "He kept going on and on about how... how he would come back to you... maybe."

Tamao: Her enthusiasm slowly begins to increase. "Really?"

Hao: "Hai, Tammy-chan..."

Tamao: (meekly) "Oh, Lyo-chan..."

Hao: "Lyo-kun's realy something, ne?"

Tamao: A small tear trickles down her cheek. "Sosa... Hao-chan..."

Hao: "Hai, Lyo said something else too."

Tamao: She glances up at Hao quickly. "Nani? What did he say?"

Hao: He stares down, into his lap. (nervously) "He said that... that I would repel you... in the future..." He looks up at Tamao. "Gomen, Tammy- chan..."

Tamao: "Nani? For what? What happened?"

Hao: He balls up a fist. "For... the complete baka I've been! Tammy-chan, when you first came here, I immediately dismissed Lyo-kun's affections for you as being non-existant, and I denied it when it became evident... I shouldn't have tried to monopolize your love, gomen Tammy-kun, can you forgive me? Onegai?" He looks up into Tamao's eyes, begging her for forgiveness.

Tamao: She stares back at Hao in shock at first, but suddenly cracks a grin. "Hao-chan, I tell you what: I'll forgive you if... if..."

Hao: "Anything, Tammy-kun..."

Tamao: She stares at the door out the corner of her eye. "Uh, Ponchi and Konchi have been harassing me, saying that Lyo-chan isn't coming back. They're such bakas..."

Hao: He snaps his fingers. (enthusiastically) "Done. You just say the word and I'll make it look like they learned a valuable lesson about playing with matches..." The candle in the room begins to burn brighter.

Tamao: She tugs at Hao's arm. "Yamado, Hao-chan, no more hurting, onegai..." She pulls on Hao's arm.

Hao: (anime sigh) "Well, nani then?"

Tamao: "They're so convincing, it's so hard to believe that Lyo is still alive. Could you take me to the Tunnel of Tartarus in a while so that I can see Lyo-chan right as he comse out of the tunnel?" She stares into Hao's eyes with 'that' sad look.

Hao: He stares back at her and cracks a grin. "Hai, Tammy-chan. It's a deal. Lyo-kun said that it would take a week for him to make it through the tunnel, so we'll head to the tunnel exit in a week, I promise you."

Tamao: "Arigato, Hao-chan..." She leans her head on Hao's shoulder and closes her eyes.

Hao: He throws his cape around Tamao and hugs her close to his bare chest. (A/N: Every fangirl's dream... Oh, quit slobbering on your keyboards already!)

(A/N: Okay, shorter than last chapter. But that's because the last chapter was a merging of one very short chapter into one very long chapter. Gomen if this detracted from the quality of the chapter...

Oh, and by the way, while on the subject of last chapter, if some of you have noticed, Why So Shy reports having gotten 12 reviews as of last chapter, but only 11 reviews are posted on the review listing. If you sent in a review for last chapter, but your review isn't posted, could you please try re-sending that review for the last chapter? Arigato, I really wanna' see what you think of this fic. Though I've got a pretty good idea of who sent it...)