Here are the summaries for each pair in the whole fic:
Horo/Tamao Summary: Sometimes, we fail to indent ourselves in the line of Fate, and because of that, we fall for the most unlikely people at the most unlikely of places.
Yoh/Anna Summary: When words are not spoken, it is the beauty of silence that creates everything; that makes nothing and everything fall into its place.
Hao/Anna Summary: Through a simple little poem hung on one of the bamboos' branches, a wish will be mutely longing.Ren/Pirika Summary: Seek and you will find.
Lyserg/Jeanne Summary: Once. Falling in love once is enough to last for a lifetime.
Author's Notes: Keep in mind, though, that the main focus of the whole fic is Horo/Tamao. Enjoy!! Insert standard disclaimers here.
"An order??!" His face was filled with astonishment as soon as he read the contents of a hand-written letter. It was sent by his father back from Hokkaido, telling the Ainu siblings to get home immediately. And if ever that was just a request, Horokeu Usui would most likely pretend that he had never laid eyes on that letter. Besides, there was a big possibility that his father might have the wrong address…
But then again, it was an order.
Dammit, an O-R-D-E-R.
As the older and much more responsible Ainu, he knew that there was something urgent and he would never ever test his father's patience. Knowing the man at his early 40's, he would do anything to discipline his offspring even if he would grow old…and have wrinkles. And Horo horo was certain; absolutely positively sure that Pirika MUST HAVE gotten the brutal-loving genes from that man.
"What could Otousan be thinking now…?" wondered Pirika, who was sitting beside her brother, looking at him in confusion. "The last time he asked us to go home while we were in Tokyo for the Shaman Fight was because of Okaasan's birthday." She sighed. "Do you think--?"
Horo horo nodded slowly. "I think it is much more important this time, though. Although I'm not saying Okaasan's birthday has no significance." He chuckled softly. "We know how Otousan is and he might just miss us so much already."
"Hmmm…" Pirika gave him a cynical look.
"Okay, so he must really miss us already." The older Ainu reassured her. "I think it has been half a year since we last laid eyes on home. Wouldn't you feel the same if ever I would be away that long?"
"I guess so…" the blue-hiared girl smiled. "Let's go home then. I miss the snow a lot already!"
Horo horo grinned. "And how I miss Obaasan's homemade ice cream…" His eyes glimmered affectionately at the thought. "Yumm…"
His sister giggled softly, enjoying her brother's daydreaming. She loved to see him with starry-eyes, admiring something he missed so much. That just goes to show that there is no place like home.
"You're going back to Hokkaido, Horo-kun?"
Asakura Yoh stepped in the household with a bag of groceries at hand, looking at the Ainus curiously.
"We're planning though," Horo horo replied, showing the letter to Yoh. "Otousan asked us to."
The auburn-haired shaman received it as his dark sleepy eyes ran across the page, reading its contents. He paused, then looked back at the older Ainu. "I understand your family values and all, but--" He smiled indecisively. "I can't read Ainu!!"
Horo horo laughed out loud as a swaetdrop made its way down his hair. "Hahaha, gomen. I should have known," he replied as Pirika took the letter from Yoh's hands.
"Yoh-nii'san, Otousan ordered us to go home already. Onii-chan's theory, though, is he misses us to pieces!"
The Asakura nodded smilingly, rubbing his cheeky coyly. "That's perfectly understandable since you've been away for quite a long time." He grinned. "But I don't want you to take me the wrong way, it's just that I want you two to stay a little bit longer. Tanabata Day is coming fast, and we'd like you to spend it with us while you're here."
"Oh yeah," Horo horo replied. "That's in less than a week from now, right?"
Pirika nodded. "Hai, Onii-chan."
He grinned. "Sou ka!" Standing up from his crouch, he abruptly stepped out the room, grabbing his oversoul instrument along the way.
"Where are you going?" Yoh asked as he watched the spiky-haired Ainu rest his white snowboard on his back.
The boy gave him a grin. "I'll run some errands while I'm here."
His adolescent sister blinked. "Like what?"
"A lot." He playfully gestured the two good-bye and walked out the door with his infamous wide smirk, his hands buried in his pockets.
Pirika sighed as she tossed her azure long hair over her shoulders with a hint of annoyance. "Onii-chan is so weird sometimes." She looked up to Yoh. "Ne, Yoh-nii'san?"
He smiled sheepishly. "I guess so, as long as you agree." He ran his eyes through the glass window and watched the older Ainu walk out the Asakura gates. "The Festival of the Weaver Star…" He smiled at himself. "Got an idea, don't you Horo-kun?"
Her pink glossy tresses were dirfted by the easing monotonous breeze, which pressed against her face as she stood along the path under the shade of a tree. Reminding herself that there was a bag of ingredients in her grasp, she sighed and continued to walk.
"Okay then…" she told herself, checking the contents of the bag. "Anna-okami wants me to bake a cake for dessert later. Stawberry will do since it is in season…"
"Tamao?" A masculine voice made her stop and look up, finding the Ainu in a couple of feet away from her. He smiled as soon as he got a good look on her face. "Busy lately?"
The shaman-in-training coyly nodded. "H-Hai, actually. I need to get home now."
"I see," Horo horo then draped his built hands on the bag, caressing it effortlessly. "Let me help. It's the least I can do."
Tamamura Tamao blinked, slightly confused. "What do you mean?"
"I mean, it's the least I can do to thank you for lots of things." He grinned, then took a peek inside the bag. "Baking again?"
"Y-Yes," she replied as they walked alongside eachother, heading back to the Asakura household. "Strawberry."
The boy's eyes lit up. "Yum!!"
Tamao smiled as she looked up at him. "P-Perhaps I should do that now. You must have something else to do." The girl insisted, but only to see her companion shaking his head.
"Nah, it's okay. The house is just walking distance anyway." He sighed softly. "Besides, I won't be able to do this anymore…" He clutched the bag closer, his voice trailing off, startling Tamao unexpectedly.
"You're leaving?" the question came out automatically from her system, her voice trembling uneasily.
He chuckled, but there was a hint of uneasiness. Shrugging, he replied, "Yeah, in less than a week from now. Actually, the day after Tanabata. Pirika and I planned it, but it's not final…" He hesitated. "Yet."
"S-Sou ka…" Her voice softened, a feeling of discomfort punching through her chest. She looked at him intently after she losened her pace. "You'll come back, right?"
Horo horo stopped in silence. There was a long pause before he looked back at her and smiled.
An insecure smile.
The prophet was skeptical, but chose to let it be. It was unusual for THE Horo horo to hesitate on a simple question such as that. She nodded slowly. "Oh..."
They continued on their walk, exchanging constant unseen glances on each other slielntly. Tamao always knew that Horo horo will stay with them at all times, no matter what absurdity happens.
Because she remained faithful… until now.
"Okaerinasai, Anna-san!" Pirika greeted enthusiastically as the itako stepped in the house with her usual weary eyes. She flashed a look on Pirika, and this made her flinch.
"Where's Yoh?" Her deadly voice sent shivers all over the younger girl's body.
"I-In the kitchen…" replied the Ainu immediately. She was taken aback when Kyouyama Anna suddenly was in a fierce mood, well… fiercer than usual.
Anna made her way to the said room and indeed, found her fiancee preparing dinner. He noticed her and gave her a wide grin as if saying, "Idiot me." or "Hello Anna." Or something of that matter. She sighed in exasperation.
"Yoh, prepare dinner for one more."
The shaman blinked. "A guest is coming over?" he managed to ask.
"Tao Jun asked my permission to let her brother stay for dinner…and only dinner." She sighed once more. "I had to agree for some unknown reason." A thought then crossed her mind, which was very stupid. Am I trying to be nice?
She shrugged. Now that IS a stupid thought.
"That's great!" Yoh exclamied suddenly, interrupting the itako's attention. "When is Ren coming over?"
"Later…" replied Anna, her forehead creasing. "And why, may I ask, are you so happy?" She had her eyebrow raised and her arms curled up in front of her chest.
The boy grinned sheepishly, then gestured his eyes outside the door, pointing to the unaware Pirika. Upon understanding this, Anna ran her fingers through her glossy blonde tresses and sighed. "You're unbelievable, Yoh Asakura. Really, really unbelievable."
He chuckled. "Ah, by the way, is there anyone else coming?"
"One, Yoh. Can't you understand that? Or basic numbers are too hard for you to comprehend??" she glared a deadly look at her fiancee, causing him to withdraw.
She smirked triumphantly, which made Yoh smile nervously. "Good."
But out of the blue, the front door flapped open, revealing an auburn-haired young man with a relaxed, otherwise lazy smile similar to Yoh's. And almost immediately, anyone could recognize him.
"Imutou-chan, you're not inviting me?" Asakura Hao asked playfully, stepping in the kitchen without even bothering the others' reactions.
"Onii-chan…" Yoh hissed, trying to tell him that Anna was about to explode in annoyance already. Well, anyone would be if someone barges in your house unattended, especially if it is your fiancee's older brother.
Not getting the message, Hao turned to his dear brother's future bride with a grin. "I was just passing by and overheard your conversation with Yoh, dear future sis-in-law. So I thought of dropping by…"
There will never be a future for you anymore. And curse your empathic abilities, Anna clenched her fists with veins clearly seen on the surface of her skin. Trying to remind herself that this annoying man in front of her was one of the most powerful shamans to have ever walked on the surface of the earth, she tried to control her temper. Unfortunately though, she couldn't and hurled a really REALL REALLY hard blow…
But only to miss Hao miraculously when he stepped away a second earlier. And because of the huge energy of Furyoku that was bestowed upon that punch, the nearby refrigerator was blown into pieces, causing Yoh to panic.
"A-Anna…go easy on him--"
"Asakura Hao!!" The itako screeched, not taking heed on Yoh's speech.
"Yes, dear?" The young man was smiling…
Dammit, SMILING! Grinning, even.
There were veins popping up from Anna's hair already. But on the other hand, Yoh sighed after realizing that he could not do anything anymore. Everything would eventually be normal again…
And he prayed helplessly that when he wakes up in the morning, that is if he doesn't end up as a corpse, everything will be back to normal.
He sighed. "Horo horo and Ren will be home any second now."
Hweehee… Review please! I had so much fun writing this piece of sudden brainstorm.