Disclaimer: I don't own Shaman King.
Summary: As the dried leaves slowly fall to give way to new life, the barriers that cover his secluded heart falls, giving way to something he never expected.
A/N: This is the first part of the first saga of seasons called "Autumn", the next would be "Winter", followed by "Spring" and lastly "Summer". They would be as follows: Autumn - Ren x Pilica, Winter (my most awaited one XD) - Horo Horo x Tamao, Spring - Lyserg x Jeanne and Summer - Yoh x Anna. Each saga would contain five parts and most probably there would be an epilogue in the end with all the pairings XD I hope you enjoy this little tribute of mine to Shaman King.
Warning: Major Ren x Pilica and some profanity maybe
"Ren! Ren! Wait up!" a young man called out as he ran towards a shorter young man with a distinct hairstyle.
He turned around, hair twitching slightly, a frown once again gracing his face, "What do you want, Yoh?"
The other teenager stopped from his running and faced the frowning face of the man known as Ren, "You should smile more Ren… if you frown so much, it might be permanent and get stuck that way… I don't think you want that… Anyway, I was wondering… can you do me a favor?"
I should have known…
Ren rolled his eyes, "What do you want this time?"
"Well… I was wondering if you could buy the groceries for me. I have lots of things to do and I have no idea how I'm going to finish everything in time, and I still have to do my after-school training. Man, ever since school started, my life has been so hectic I haven't been able to take my normal naps and haven't been able to listen to the latest songs of BOB!" Yoh whined as he pulled something out from his uniform's pocket.
Ren sighed, "Don't expect me to help you out AGAIN. I have been helping you out ever since school started. You should tell Anna to give you less chores. You're a wreck. Good thing sensei somehow never manages catching you dozing off in class."
"Anna would never allow that!" Yoh paled, "And besides, who else would do all the work? I mean Anna has school, and she is a member of various clubs and has a lot of things to do."
"It's amazing that even in school she manages to boss people around." Ren rolled his eyes. From the moment he had met his friend's fiancée, he never really like her but of course, he had, as everyone did, utmost respect for her, "Fine Yoh, I'll help you out… but this will be the LAST time, okay?"
That's what I said the last time he asked…
The usually laidback boy looked rather relieved and very, very, VERY stressed, "Thanks Ren… here's the list and the payment. I'll meet you in front of Funbari Onsen later at 6, okay?" Yoh said handing him a crumpled piece of paper and some yen. He then looked alarmed, "Ah… I have to go ask Horo Horo if he could help me out and clean the yard! See you later Ren!"
Ren watched as the mahogany-haired boy ran towards another part of the school. It seems as if the piece of paper he pulled out from his uniform's pocket a while ago was a list of chores to do. Recently, Yoh had been given the task of being a Shaman King, a normal student and servant boy. The poor guy… ever since Anna became more active in school, he seemed to have double the number of chores than usual, and he would usually seek him, Horo Horo, Manta, Ryu and Faust for help.
Making his way to the supermarket with his hands in his jacket pockets, Ren Tao walked along the streets of Tokyo, stepping on the dried leaves that fell. It was autumn once more, and once again the streets were covered with dried leaves that made an odd crunching sound when you step on it. It also meant that the reason Yoh had been tasked to clean the yard is because it was filled with dried leaves. He never particularly had a favorite season… but autumn was one he liked to a certain extent since it was cool yet it didn't mean that slush was around you. He didn't like snow, that was for sure.
He stared blankly at the people on the streets, most of which were students quickly going to cram school or their homes to do assignments. He never bothered doing the pathetic assignments tasked to them; he would do major projects and those to be passed, yes but those measly exercises? He left those to be answered right in class, and today was another one of those days wherein all the assignments were exercises on the books. He would just have a quick glance at his notes for those subjects with quizzes tomorrow.
Finally he arrived at the supermarket in which Yoh and Anna would always buy their food. All that they bought was exact, and was double-checked by Anna. And if Yoh decided to sneak and buy something different, he would surely be caught. He unfolded the crumpled piece of paper and saw that even the brand was exact; the price was written in Anna's organized writing as well. It also stated the exact amount of change.
Ren frowned, this was more taxing that it seems…
Ren walked out of the supermarket, frowning slightly. It was hard to find the exact brand of tuna Yoh and Anna ate; it took him quite a while too. He dragged the groceries along with him as he made his way to the Onsen…
"Excuse me… err… can you help me out with something?" a hand suddenly grabbed his shoulder.
He turned around to face a girl with light blue hair, which he knew rather well and bright onyx eyes, just like her brother. He thought. "What is it?"
Her face brightened up, "Ah… Ren-kun! Well, I sort of got lost…" she smiled sheepishly, "I was trying to find my big brother since I couldn't find him during dismissal time, and somehow I ended up here."
Ren rolled his eyes, "He's at the Onsen… I'll take you there… it's not very far and I have to meet Yoh."
"Arigato Ren-kun!" she grinned brightly.
He twitched hearing what she called him, "Ren-kun" ever since she found out his name it has always been "Ren-kun" and it irritated him. Only his sister can call him "Ren-kun" and when his sister says it he already gets furious. Obviously, he was furious with her too… and about any minute now he should shout at her…
"Is there anything wrong Ren-kun?" she asked looking at him oddly.
Ren turned away and said hoarsely, "Iie… it's nothing."
Why am I being nice to her?
"Were you shopping for groceries? I always thought you asked someone to do it… or at least Jun-san would be the one to do it." Pilica asked looking curiously at the bags he was carrying.
"Why should you care, onna?" he glared at her.
Now that's better…
She stuck out her tongue at him, "It's PILICA for your information and I don't "CARE" I was just wondering… and besides, why do you always have to be so M-E-A-N?"
Ren rolled his eyes, once again he would soon find himself in a childish quarrel with the younger Ainu. He didn't know why but after some moments of at lest silence with her, it will soon turn into a heated shouting match about the most childish of things. He then retorted acidly, "Well, if I'm so "MEAN" why am I leading you to Funbari Onsen to find your IDIOT of a BROTHER?!"
Pilica then burned with anger hearing that her beloved brother was involved, "Well, excuse me but my BROTHER can beat YOU with his eyes blindfolded and his hands tied behind his back!"
"Yeah right… you won't be saying that when I'm kicking his sorry BUTT!" shouted Ren angrily.
Pilica rolled her eyes, "Well I won't be saying it because, you can NEVER kick his butt in anything! My brother will NEVER let you win at anything!"
"And YOU think I will let HIM win anything?!" Ren shouted in outrage, "You must me kidding me!"
They continued their shouting match as they literally stomped their way to Funbari Onsen, with them were very, very, VERY bad moods.
It was always that way… Usually, Ren would rather not bother bickering with others unless of course it's Horo Horo, since that is something he could never avoid, but whenever he tries to be nice to her, or at least not anger her without being 'un-Ren-like' she manages to turn it into an insult, or at least an invitation for bickering.
"Ren! Pilica-chan!" shouted Yoh good-naturedly as he ran up to the two, wiping his sweat with a clean white towel that was on his neck moments ago.
"Yoh…" Ren said turning around to find his brown–haired friend smiling with a relieved expression on his face. He held up the grocery bags, waiting for Yoh to take them.
Panting and holding his knees Yoh said, "Thanks for buying the groceries for me… I don't know how I would be able to survive without you guys…" he wiped the sweat that remained on his forehead then getting the bags from the Chinese shaman, "By the way Pilica-chan, Horo Horo is at the yard… I'm sorry but I asked him to help me out with a few things, I hope you don't mind. He and Tamao were cleaning the yard, the dried leaves made our yard rather untidy and Anna ordered me to clean it up… I hope you don't mind…"
"Iie… it's alright Yoh-kun, I better save Tamao-chan from my brother now…" Pilica said, sticking her tongue out at Ren before running of to find her brother.
Yoh blinked, seeing what Pilica just did, "You argued again, didn't you?"
Ren rolled his eyes, "It's not my fault she's such a pest."
"I don't understand why you guys just keep on fighting. I mean, you guys seem in friendly terms with each other for one moment then mortal enemies the next…" Yoh noted.
Ren shrugged, "Beats me, anyway, I have to go home now…"
"Alright then, take care." Yoh grinned, "Thanks again, I won't ever ask again! I owe you one!"
Ren turned around to face Yoh and glared at him, "You better be telling the truth this time, I don't want to do anymore stupid errands for you."
Yoh smiled nervously then nodded.
Ren took one last glance at the onsen before going on his way home, unknowing that Yoh had his fingers crossed.
"Ren-kun! Kami-sama, I was so worried that you got into trouble again… I don't want to find out you've been sent into prison because of attacking a person, with your HAIR." Jun said as she ran towards her little brother.
Ren flushed, "That did NOT happen, technically…"
"Well yeah… but you did get sent into detention because you attacked a student, with your hair too…" Jun noted then shifted the subject back, "But Ren, WHERE were you? Why are you so late?"
Ren rolled his eyes, "I'm not late, it's not yet 7 for Pete's sake… It's just ten past six actually."
"But still, I can't help but get worried, last school year you went home early except on Tuesdays when you have practice for martial arts. These days you seem to be going home later and later. Is anything the matter?" Jun eyes then widened, "You're not part of some gang, are you? You do know that otto-san would never approve of such things."
"No, I'm not a part of some gang." Ren said impatiently, he wanted to escape his sister now, "I'm going to take my bath…"
Jun shook her head, "You're telling me what you've been doing first." She then turned to Bason (in spirit ball form) and Pai Long, "Pai Long, I hope you don't mind but can you get Ren's bath ready?"
Pai Long then straightened himself up alertly then nodded, "Of course Jun-san…"
She smiled, "Thank you… why don't you help Pai Long, Bason?"
The spirit ball nodded, "Yes, mistress…"
Ren looked at the two make their way to the bathroom and turned back to his sister who was in her 'over-protective' mode.
"Ren, can you tell me now?" Jun asked her little brother.
Ren sighed, "It's nothing important really, I've just been helping Yoh out with errands ever since everything is being dumped on him by Anna because she's been more active in school."
Jun blinked, "That's it…?"
"Yeah… what did you expect?" Ren looked at his sister oddly.
"Nothing, nothing…" Jun sighed, "I thought you might have been in a gang our something… or maybe stalking some girl…"
"STALKING SOME GIRL?!" Ren shouted, his hair rising up rapidly as he became angrier. He was furious; he could not believe that his sister would think of such an absurd thing.
Jun clicked her tongue, "Yes… because Anna-san's been telling me that you've been connecting with this girl, the little sister of Horo Horo-kun I believe. I thought you might have fallen in love or something." His sister smiled widely, "My, it would be wonderful to see you in love, Ren."
Hearing those words, Ren felt a vein pop and…
"I DON'T LIKE HER AT ALL! SHE'S A PEST! A VERY IRRITATING BRAT, THAT'S WHAT SHE IS! WHEN I'M TRYING NOT TO BOTHER WITH HER, SHE JUST MAKES US FIGHT! SHE'S SIMPLY JUST AN IRRITATING, PESKY PRAT!" Ren screamed, flushed with anger as he stomped away from his sister and made his way to the bathroom.
That moment, Pai Long came from the bathroom, "His bath is ready Jun-san, is anything the matter? He seemed pretty troubled a while ago as he went to the bathroom."
Jun had a wide smiled on her face, "Nothing Pai Long… I just have a feeling that this autumn will be very interesting, especially for Ren."
"Really?" blinked the kyonshin.
"Yes… very…" Jun smiled knowingly, "I just hope everything goes well."
"Everything will go into its place, right Jun-san?" Pai Long told the green-haired lady.
She smiled, "Of course it will…"
::Tsuzuku – to be continued::
A/N: I hope you enjoyed this… I will try to update as quickly as possible I hope that you are inclined to read the next chapter when its out as well. Once again, I hoped you enjoyed this chapter and place R/R!