Disclaimer: I don't own Shaman King.
Summary: He never thought he would ever fall in love – it was just not him. She never thought she would forget about her Prince Charming – it was just too unexpected. Will the gentle fall of snow erase their doubts?
A/N: Late. Late. Late. God, I'm so damn late, ain't I? Oh well… :D As long as it came out I'm fine with it I guess… I sorry though… :( I bet you guys want to murder me now or something --;; Anyway, I'm putting a lot of work in this chapter, so I hope you'll enjoy it nonetheless… :) huggles
Saffron – Thanks for the comment :) I love reading reviews so I will still read your review :D Thank you so much for reviewing this :D
snakespirit – Horo Horo's hot! :D yey! Thank you! I love your reviews :D
Mendori-chan – huggles as well Fellow Horo x Tamao fan :D Salamat sa review :D and as you can see, though late, I continued!
rachiru77 – Maybe Horo does have a crush on Tamao, but I guess he's too dense to realize that now :P and yes, Tamao does believe that Horo Horo is one of the closest friends she has. Wonder what that'll lead to… winks
Ashly – XD
Kira – Thank you so much for the review and comment :S it made feel so happy XD
The Summer Stars – I hope you're alright… sweatdrops hyperventilating and all. Favorite mankin writer? I feel so honored bows Please don't stalk me… :D smiles sheepishly
reviewlord, DayDrEaMiNg-child, sakura-star69, GoddessLD – thank you for the review :D
cherri-chan – thank you so much :D I think Anna and Kino would allow Tamao winks
watery - summer is Yoh x Anna actually, Spring fitted better for Lyserg and Jeanne so it will be Lyserg x Jeanne in Spring :D
Nakashima-Michiyo - Horo x Tamao makes things more lovable doesn't it? smiles :D hehe
Warnings: Major Horo x Tamao and some profanity maybe
It had been dark.
There was a blizzard on-going.
But she was nowhere in sight.
He flung the living room's door open – it was the only place he hadn't checked. 'Where are you? You idiot…' he thought, he had no idea where she could have gone, and why in heavens would she go out in a blizzard, but she was not around. He prayed that she would be in the living room, knitting or something. He knew that when he heard the onsen's door open and slam shut that there had been something going on… But she was not in the living room… Only Yoh and Anna had been there, with a confused expression on his face…
"Yoh, where's Tamao?" Horo Horo had asked rather quickly, he was so worried about her, and he himself had no idea why. Yes, she had been his best friend, but his concern for her had seemingly went more than that – a lot more.
Yoh had snapped out from his trance, "I don't know… we were just talking… then she ran away."
Horo Horo felt his blood boil, "Why didn't you go after her? There's a blizzard going on outside and God knows where she's at!" He never felt so much anger at a friend – not even Ren, who constantly seemed to be in rather odd situations with his sister.
The Asakura didn't speak at all, or rather was not given the chance to speak because the rather edgy Ainu had punched him and caused him to fall to the ground.
He glared at Yoh rather angrily and muttered, "I'm going to go look for her…" was the words he said before he ran out to the blizzard. Who cares if he were to be buried in the snow? Who cares if he were to get sick? All that mattered, that she was safe. That was all that mattered in his heart. He didn't even bother to think about what Pilica would react about such a reckless decision. All that mattered was her.
"Ouch…" Yoh said as he rubbed his jaw, which was punched rather dangerously by the Ice shaman, "Anna, don't you think he went a bit overboard?"
Anna came out from the kitchen, "It just proves to show his feelings for her…"
"Do you think they'll get together already?" Yoh smiled as he stood up from the floor, "I think that would be really nice if they do… Horo Horo obviously loves her so… and she does deserves someone who does love her that much."
"Maybe… but they're too dense and stupid for that." Anna replied rather frankly.
Yoh laughed, "Aren't you being kind of mean?"
Anna glared at her laidback fiancé and said, "Yoh, since Tamao's not around, you better go cook dinner, prepare food for those two too, okay?"
"Whatever you say Anna!" Yoh saluted as he made his way to the kitchen.
"You're too stupid too…" Anna said with a sigh as she took the remote control from atop the couch and turned it on to watch her favorite soap opera. "Yoh no baka…"
"Tamao! Tamao! Where are you?" he called out in all directions. He estimated that it had been ten minutes now since he ran out of Yoh's humble abode to go in search of her and yet she was still no where to be found. It was freezing and the wind was rather strong. He knew that she was supposedly just close by – even he, who had loved cold weather wouldn't have gone so far in such a blizzard.
'God damn it. Where are you?' He thought impatiently, clenching his knees and panting because he was tired. He honestly would kill someone if he couldn't find her.
He then heard something… Sobs. Sobs of a young girl… sobs of someone familiar… sobs of Tamao.
His eyes widened and ran to the direction where the sobs were at. "Tamao! Tamao! Is that you?"
There was no answer, but he didn't need any anyhow, just the slight sight of faint pink amongst the white of snow and black of the night showed him that it was her. He sighed in relief when he saw that she was safe, though shivering in the cold and crying. She was safe. She was alright. It was as if a huge weight that had been in his heart had been lifted.
He approached her with a soft gentle smile, different from the usual huge, mischievous grins that Horo Horo always wore. "You idiot…" he said playfully, "You had me worried there…"
She looked up to him, a faint smile gracing her face, "Horo Horo-kun…" she managed to say in between sobs. "I thought I would be stranded here and just die."
He took his hand, "I would never allow that, I would threaten the snow to give you back if it ever took you away." He said with a grin, "What idiotic soul possessed you to run off during a blizzard anyway? Come on, ride on my back, we'll get back faster that way."
"It's funny that during a blizzard you are still able to smile so brightly." Tamao noted as she hesitantly and shyly got on the back of the Ainu.
"I'm really like that Tamao, whether you like it or not." He grinned as he began to walk, carrying her then nothing after a few moments, "You're light, have you been eating properly?"
"Of course I have!" Tamao said, heat filling her cheeks. It was amazing that she was able to feel heat in such weather but she did. It was overwhelming – the concern her Ainu friend had been showing her, she then realized how blessed she was to have such a wonderful friend despite the fact that he might be the cause of a world-wide famine.
"Maybe, it's just that I'm strong…" he said, as he urged her to hold on more tightly.
Tamao giggled lightly, "Don't flatter yourself Horo Horo-kun."
Horo Horo gave off a hearty laugh as well, "I can't help it. There's plenty to be flattered about."
She hit his head lightly, making sure that the Ainu would not be thrown off balance by such an action.
Horo Horo suddenly turned serious – it was one of the unique things about him. He managed to shift the mood of certain things quite quickly. "Tamao… what happened really? Why did you just storm off the onsen…"
"Umm well…" Should she tell him? She sighed as a surrender, he had the right to know, since after all, without him, she might have died sooner or later. "I was talking with Yoh-sama."
"I know that part." Horo Horo said, his grip slightly tightened for some reason.
"Somehow, it shifted to Anna-okami, our conversation." Tamao said, somehow, she was finding it not so difficult to talk to Horo Horo about such a thing, "and he said, he loved her."
"Oh…" Horo Horo said, it was no big surprise, but he still knew it must be painful, "I'm sorry…"
"I already knew that of course…" Tamao said with a sigh, "It just seems harder to take when I hear straight from him."
"It must be…" Horo Horo said looking to the sky. "Love is so troublesome…"
"Maybe it is…" Tamao said with a dreamy look on his face, "But it is also a gift…"
"If you say so." He shrugged. He then popped the question that he thought would be too rude to ask, "Are you giving up on him now?"
"I want to…" Tamao said contemplatively, "but my heart is still beating strongly for him. I can't just change the direction it is pointing to, no matter how hard I try."
Horo Horo paused for a moment and could have sworn he thought, 'If only I could…' he pushed the thought away with a blush, "Let's hurry up, the storm might get stronger…"
"Eh…?" Tamao looked rather confused, "It's actually getting weaker…"
Horo Horo held a stupid, yet cute nostalgic look on his face as he recalled some past events, until he heard a shout from the lower floor that brought him back to reality.
"Oy! Horo Horo, can you tell her to hurry up? We don't have all day you know!" It was unmistakably Ren Tao who called out.
Horo Horo sighed, "Fine shorty!"
He then turned to the door.
"Are you done yet?" Horo Horo called out to the locked room of Tamao Tamamura with an impatient expression on his face, "Ren Tao is having a fit downstairs already! I can tell, his hair is growing, we wouldn't want Yoh and Anna's house to have a big hole in the ceiling courtesy of Tao Ren's hair now, do we?"
"I heard you!" a sound from downstairs called out, annoyance evident in his voice, "Shut up you Ainu, or I'll kick you off the plane when we're hundreds of feet above the ocean!"
With a soft giggle the door of the room finally opened to reveal Tamao in a white polo and jeans pulling out a brown suitcase. "You and Ren-kun are lively as usual I see…"
Horo Horo grinned, "It's such a relief that Anna allowed you to come with us, lucky!" he then took the suitcase from Tamao, "Let me carry that…"
"Thank you Horo Horo-kun…" she blushed lightly.
"No biggie…" he grinned as they descended down the stairs to meet up with an impatient Tao Ren and a waiting Pilica.
" 'Ello shorty!" Horo Horo greeted cheerfully at the sight of Ren Tao, "How's it been going? Fine a presume? Killed a hairdresser for trying to fix your hair again maybe…?"
The Tao glared at him, but knew he wouldn't be able to do anything that would physically damage the Ainu, since after all, his SISTER who comfortably enough had been his GIRLFRIEND, as around. After the usual deadly glare, he turned around smugly. He knew that Pilica would reprimand her loudmouth of a brother anyway.
"Onii-chan! Don't be mean to Ren!" Pilica said with a pout, hitting her elder brother with a baseball bat, that by some coincidence was on the couch (o.O).
"ITAI!" Horo Horo flinched at the pain he received.
Tamao sweatdropped, rather used to the sight after seeing around hundreds of times in the past, "Let's calm down now guys… hurting each other would lead us nowhere."
"Hn." Ren grunted, "Let's just go, if that clown wasn't Pilica's brother, he wouldn't even be coming along with us…"
"Well, excuse me…" Horo Horo rolled his eyes in annoyance.
"Ren! Horo Horo!" Pilica exclaimed causing both partied to shut up. Pilica – no doubt, was Superwoman. She managed to shut up both the arrogant, proud heir of the Tao clan and the loud, reckless Ainu warrior in record time.
Tamao sighed, these guys would never change.
"Cool… first class seats!" Horo Horo excitedly jumped into the huge seat as they boarded the airplane, "This is sooo cooooool!"
The other three sweatdropped when they saw Horo Horo act so childishly.
Ren took his seat silently, rolling his eyes as he looked at the Ainu shaman check out the various things that surrounded the seat. Pilica sat beside him with a smile, looking at her elder brother's excitement. Tamao took her seat beside Horo Horo trying to restrain him from busting the airplane window open, for reasons she could not explain at all.
Horo Horo bounced in his seat after he strapped his seat belt.
"I hear the food in first class is great…" Tamao noted, "I bet you're excited, aren't you Horo Horo-kun?"
"Of course I am!" he exclaimed, "But I bet they still won't be able to beat YOUR cooking."
Tamao blushed and was about to reply when Ren interrupted the conversation…
"The food here is not so great, trust me…" Ren rolled his eyes, "It's really nothing special… some of the dishes even suck."
Horo Horo stuck out his tongue, "You're just saying that because you have an all-you-can-eat buffet prepared for you everyday!"
"I wouldn't call it an all-you-can-eat buffet…" Ren sighed, "Just a normal Chinese dinner…"
"Don't Chinese dinners comprise of at least 9 courses?" Tamao asked inquisitively.
"Ugh! Forget it!" Ren Tao said, laying his head on the soft sofa-like seat. "Try to shut your mouth on the trip Horo Horo, it's rather short, an hour actually."
Horo Horo turned away from the Chinese muttering, "Stupid moron…"
Tamao smiled, "I bet it would be rather fun… this trip and all…" She took out a book from her shoulder bag, hearing that Horo Horo had called for the stewardess to bring some snacks and drinks to him. For an hour trip, she knew the airlines were going to give off food like it was a 12 hour trip with Horo Horo around.
"Of course it would!" Horo Horo told her as he opened a pack of gummy bears given to him, "I'm telling you, it will be the best! I will do everything in my power to make it the best winter you have ever experiences!"
Tamao smiled amused by Horo Horo boyish charm.
"Remember, the promise?" Horo Horo gave her a wink, "I don't back down on my word!"
"I know you don't…" Tamao smiled.
She knew - Horo Horo was slowly beginning to own her heart, intentionally or unintentionally, Yoh-sama or no Yoh-sama… He was beginning to be one of the people she cherished the most. Good or bad, she didn't know… but at that moment, everything felt right and in its place.
"Otto-san! Where are you?!" called out Horo Horo as he kicked the door of his home open, causing Tamao's eyes to widen and Ren to sigh disapprovingly.
Tamao looked hysterical, "Umm…Horo Horo-kun… I don't think that that was necessary to do… the door… it broke… and…"
Pilica laughed lightly patting the pink-haired girl on the back, "Don't worry Tamao-san, onii-chan does that ever so often, we're quite used to it already. It's also a sign that the real Horo Horo came home, not some intruder or something."
A huge man then approached the front door and glared at Horo Horo. He looked at the young man with a stern face that soon changed into a wide smiled. The man then took Horo Horo by the head and ruffled the shaman's spiky light blue hair, "Horo Horo! How've you been? Your mother's been worried sick! You have been eating properly right? She won't be too happy if you're not, you're a growing boy according to her!"
Horo Horo laughed and playfully punched his father, "I've been eating fine otto-san, where's okaa-san anyway? Out to buy dinner again or something?"
"Yep…" the man said rubbing his roughly shaved beard, "There are going to be two extra guests… which reminds me!"
The man then scanned the three remaining people, finding the young man with a more unique hairstyle than his son among the two ladies, "You must be Ren…"
Ren tensed up for a moment, Horo Horo and Pilica's father… he was strong-looking, and rather huge. He would be able to punch him off the house if he had done anything wrong, and he might also be brutally tortured – fathers after all, were very protective over their daughters.
He glared at Ren with stern-looking eyes.
Ren, not wanting to look weak or pathetic, had glared back with the same intensity.
The glaring continued on until Horo Horo's father broke the silence…
"Wah! My daughter's told me all about you! You do seem to be a fine young man, and your family is quite well-off as well!" the Ainu man said with a huge dreamy grin. He then bowed in front of Ren, "Ah… Please take care of my daughter!"
"Otto-san!!!!" screeched Pilica, hitting her father.
Horo Horo's face darkened, how expected from his dear father…
"Umm…" Tamao said softly, feeling rather out of place and amused all at the same time, "Ah…" she was speechless and with nothing to say.
Horo Horo grinned putting his arm on Tamao's shoulder, "Don't worry, it's just how our family acts all the time. You should see it when my mother is here, it's really a racket." He laughed, "That's why I wanted to be shaman king, because all these people, this village, the Koropokurus, they're all important to me!"
"Horo Horo-kun…" Tamao smiled. "You're really such a nice person."
He stuck out his tongue with a wide grin on his face, "You're just saying that… besides, I didn't become shaman king anyway."
"But your dream will come true, I'm sure of it. If not, Yoh-sama said he'll definitely help in fulfilling it, remember?" Tamao smiled softly looking at the blue-haired shaman. Horo Horo's father, Pilica and Ren were in a lively conversation, that looked more of a comedy scene, "You have nothing to worry about."
"You're right I guess…" Horo Horo grinned, "But for now, I want to try fulfilling my dreams myself, they're my dreams and I get to fulfill them alone."
She admired his steady and firm determination – that determination was always shown in his eyes. She always did see it, and it always inspired her, Horo Horo as a person inspired her, because he was strong, he did not give up easily, and he tries his best for what he believes in. A vision of her perfect self.
Horo Horo then shifted the subject, "So what do you think about this place? I know it's not what you call very much, but I love it here!"
"It's wonderful!" Tamao said clasping her hands together dreamily, "It's also very peaceful and relaxing…"
"That's good to here, maybe later, I can take you out to explore, there's a place here that's wonderful to ice skate on, another that's wonderful to snowboard and ski on. There's also this really peaceful place where Pilica and I always built our armada of snowmen. We love it there!" Horo Horo stated with a wide excited grin. He just KNEW that it would be so fun with Tamao around, he just KNEW it.
"That sounds nice…" Tamao blushed lightly.
Then someone had interrupted with clearing his throat rather loudly. It was Horo Horo's father, and he was grinning widely, apparently, he was done on telling Ren to take good care of his daughter and getting hit by a rather flustered Pilica, "Horo Horo…"
"What is it Otto-san? Horo Horo turned to his father, slightly annoyed.
"Well…" his father asked then pointed to Tamao, "Horo Horo, why didn't you tell your father? Why didn't you tell me you had a girlfriend?!"
Both Horo Horo's and Tamao's eyes widened in shock, flustered Horo Horo hit his father on the head, "Don't be an idiot Otto-san! That's Tamao, she's my best friend!"
Horo Horo's father laid his eyes on Tamao, looking rather suspicious, causing the poor prophetess to sweat and tense up, Horo Horo's father tended to be scary – that's for sure. The Ainu man then turned to his son, "Son, she's very pretty and seems very nice, go and court her!"
"WHAT?!" Horo Horo looked as if it was the most impossible thing in the world, and surprisingly, Tamao felt rather hurt by such a face. Horo Horo hit his father one more time, "Don't kid on such things!"
"But… but… she looks like she would make a wonderful daughter-in-law… she looks very kind as well." The man remarked with a grin. Oddly, Pilica and Horo Horo's father had reminded Tamao very much of Horo Horo, in an odd sort of way.
Horo Horo looked redder than ever, hissing the words: "Shut up."
Ren smirked, realizing that the target of Horo Horo's father had now been Horo Horo, and not him.
The father on the other hand pretended not to here his obviously embarrassed son, "Ah… my children… they're so grown up already… and I feel so old…"
"My, my, what's happening here? The door is missing… does that mean Horo Horo-kun is home?" a feminine voice said entering the house.
The words: "Darling!" and "Okaa-san!" echoed throughout the room.
::Tsuzuku – to be continued::
Takari-san: I am feeling rather high today… and to say it's right after my Chinese test, it feels rather odd XD Nonetheless, here is the new chapter of Seasons, which is, may I add, very very VERY LATE. I apologize… and beg that you are not angry at me. Horo Horo's parents… are rather… odd, maybe… smiles sheepishly I think Horo Horo's dad was shown in the manga, but I didn't read that much of it yet to know ;; His father here is somewhat like Horo Horo himself, and his mother is – well, you'll find out. :D This chapter was mainly, just sort of a fill-in, worthless fluff chapter but I will go into the relationship between Horo Horo and Tamao and their developing feelings in the next. The pacing of this fic is still going normally, which is a relief because I don't want to rush the ending too much. Though I am still missing a certain event that could happen in the fic pouts anyway… I hope you enjoyed this chapter, which was, for me, not so bad, I especially like the flashback for some reason, :D It's just me being overly romantic I guess. Hmm… tell me what you think about the chapter, okay? R/R!