Disclaimer: I don't own Shaman King characters, though I really wish I owned Amidamaru (sobs)



"Amidamaru! Into the sword!" Yoh grunted as he swung his sword round at the brooms. "Amidamaru, strike! Strike again!"

Anna checked her watch.

"Hmm, not bad. I want that lot over there done now." She waved her hand vaguely towards a clearing under the shadow of a maple tree where Manta was struggling to arrange some particularly vindictive brooms.

"And what will you be doing?" Yoh panted as Amidamaru materialised by his side again.

"I'll be making dinner. And if you're not done to my satisfaction, you don't get any." Anna calmly walked off towards the house, red bandana flowing in the light breeze. Yoh gaped after her before walking slowly towards Manta and the next few targets. His guardian spirit floated a few paces behind him.

"I swear she was a prison warder in a previous life." Yoh gasped. "Either that or she just gets a really sadistic kick when she sees me exhausted and starving to death on the doorstep with nothing but a dead guy to keep me company and all the people walking past wondering why I'm talking to myself."

The young shaman flopped on the ground, not hearing the desperate cries of Manta, who was hanging determinedly off one of the brooms.

"Are you all right, Yoh?" Amidamaru asked, his voice radiating genuine concern.

"I'm so tired." Yoh's eyelids drooped. "Do you know how tiring it is to gain spirit control?"

Amidamaru raised an eyebrow.

"Do I look like the sort of person who'd know?" He asked, unable to keep the sarcasm from his voice. Yoh squinted at him and grinned sheepishly.

"Um... maybe not."

Amidamaru rolled his eyes and indicated over his shoulder.

"By the way, Yoh, it looks like Manta needs your help."

Yoh looked past, or rather, through the ghost and watched Manta, who had fallen to the ground. The broom, which was by now rather irked, had purposely fallen on top of him and he now looked rather two-dimensional.

"Amidamaru!" He yelled suddenly, making his guardian jump. "Into the sword! Amidamaru, strike!"

The blade whipped downward, embedding in the ground inches from Manta's head. The small boy turned fearfully to look at it. The broom lay in two pieces next to him.

"Th – thanks, Yoh." He stuttered before hoisting himself to his feet. "I - I think I'll go... get a drink... or something..."

He tottered off in the direction of the house. Yoh turned to where Amidamaru had materialised at his side, but the spirit was no longer there.

"Amidamaru?" the young shaman asked, turning in a full circle. Amidamaru was back by the maple tree, doubled over, rivulets of sweat streaming down his spectral face. Yoh crossed over to him.

"Amidamaru?" the shaman asked again, radiating concern. The ghost looked up at him, panting in a reflex action that, though not needed for 600 years, was still used. A pained smile lit his angular, pale face.

"I appear to have..." he sought for the correct word. "... Indigestion..."

It was Yoh's turn to raise an eyebrow.

"Indigestion? I didn't think ghosts ate."

"We don't."

"So how did you get indigestion?" Yoh asked, his dark blue eyes narrowed in confusion. He could tell that Amidamaru was as confused as he.

"No... idea..."

Amidamaru grunted as the pain in his spectral gut flared. Yoh did the only thing humanly possible at a time such as this. He reverted to human instinct.

"Um... maybe you should lie down?" He said. Amidamaru looked at him and then keeled over, making no move apart from the 90-degree change in position. Yoh smiled wryly.

"I meant in a bed."

"What's the... point...? I'd only go... straight through it... sleep on the floor..." Amidamaru whimpered and clutched his head. "My... head..."

"Headache, dude? What is up with you?"

"Don't... know... maybe just... tired..."

"Tired? Hey, Amidamaru, update: you're dead!"

"I know... I was there..."

Yoh rolled his eyes despite the circumstances. Even in the strangest situations his spirit friend was capable of being a) a sarcastic idiot and b) a plain, normal, common or garden idiot.

"So how could you be tired?"

"Don't... know... can't... think..." Amidamaru groaned and again keeled over 90 degrees so that he was now completely upside down. Yoh stepped back in surprise. He had never before seen his spirit lose control like this.

"Hey... Amidamaru... turn over again or all the blood'll rush to your head and your headache'll get worse..."

Yoh mentally slapped himself, realising how stupid what he just said was, but Amidamaru didn't seem to have heard him. The young samurai was again on his back, floating lower and lower towards the ground.

"Feel... sick..." His voice had sunk almost to a whisper and Yoh had to strain his ears to hear it.

"Uh... just as long as you don't get it on the floor. I don't know if ghost puke stains, but Anna's a nightmare when there's extra cleaning and I certainly don't want to risk it..."

"Urgh..."

Amidamaru retched in a surprisingly human way for a dead warrior. It was the fact that he hadn't eaten for over 6 centuries and nothing came up that saved him from certain misery at the hands of Anna, who just didn't hold with ectoplasm or ghost vomit or anything else that might stain the carpet.

Yoh winced.

"Erm... this might seem like a stupid question, but... are you ok?" He asked tentatively. Amidamaru looked up at him with eyes that were even more hollow then they had been minutes ago, and this was quite a feat considering he was dead.

"I feel..." the samurai began and then he crashed over backwards and spoke no more.

"AMIDAMARU!" Yoh cried, rushing over to his friend, who was now hovering so close to the ground that he almost touched. The shaman instinctively reached to wipe the sweat off Amidamaru's forehead, but his hand went straight through the ghost. Amidamaru shuddered and Yoh had the strangest sensation that he had just dipped his hand in iced water.

"It'll be ok, Amidamaru. I don't know what's wrong with you, but it'll be ok."

In honesty, Yoh didn't know if Amidamaru would recover. He was attempting to cheer the miserable spirit up with positive thinking. Logic told him that the ghost must recover. What else could he do, die? Un die? Re die? There was the predicament.

The dead couldn't get die. It was one of the principles of being, well, dead. So why was Amidamaru ill, for want of a better word? Yoh wasn't even sure if Amidamaru was ill. It might be anything. And worse - what would happen if he didn't recover? Yoh didn't know, but he had a gut feeling that it wouldn't be good.