When HoroHoro saw the building go up in flames, he panicked for the first time in months.
You see--it was a only a few minutes after he and Yoh had began to walk out of the chapel; finally hoping that their loved ones would be safe.
He ran towards the building as fast as his legs could carry him. "Ren! Ren! Ren!" His tone rose with every cry, running towards the building.
Yoh's eyes widened, running after him and tugging at his sweater. "HoroHoro! We can't go in now!" He sounded just as desperate. "Onii-chan..." He had sacrificed himself for their safety.
"I don't care!" HoroHoro glanced at him, pulling his arm out of Yoh's grasp. "They're still in there! We have too..."
The brunet sighed, his eyes sad. "...They both let us go because they wanted us to live, right...? Wouldn't it make them sad if we went back now?" Yoh wanted to go back himself. He really did. Maybe he could save Hao--or at least make sure he made it out of this ok! But... he knew...
It'd be best if they stayed there.
HoroHoro paused at that, shaking his head.
"You're right, but..."
He began to run towards the burning chapel once more. No, his mind was set. He wasn't about to let another loved one die. It was... that would be too much for him.
I'm not letting Ren die!
Ren sighed in relief as he watched the child fall; injured. Yes, to him; although Jeanne was older than him, he still considered her a mere child.
Because mentally, they were at different ages.
She breathed heavily, tears blurring her vision. Why did things have to end like this...? The only thing she had wanted to do was avenge her comrades, her family. She wanted to help the world--she wanted to help her country.
She gazed up at him, sending him one last glare before sighing; her vision only growing more and more blurry.
Marco-san... Lyserg... I'm sorry.
She had failed them both. She was supposed to protect them.
This wasn't fair at all. She was still young; she still had so much so wanted to do, so much she wanted to live for; so many people she still wanted to protect.
She... still wanted to be with her loved ones.
Ren's words repeated in her head a million times over, sighing a little. What he said... made sense.
'Cleansing the world doesn't have to mean more useless deaths.'
She sighed a little at that thought.
Maybe... we were wrong.
Maybe I was wrong...
He had made it out just in time.
Lyserg stumbled out of the building, whipping beads of sweat from his forehead as he sighed. It was... so hot in there...
He glanced behind him, looking down.
His fists clenched. This... This is for the best.
He closed his eyes. He felt... well, he didn't really know what to feel right now... But... this was what he had to do. He had to do this to prevent any more deaths from occurring.
No life should be sacrificed for another.
He flinched, watching the building burn.
Even if I went in now... I wouldn't be able to save them in time, would I...? I might die, too...
A sigh. He couldn't even get into the building now, much less save them.
He looked down, his eyes sad as he bit back tears. Jeanne and Marco were... the closest things he had to having a family.
He gazed up at the fire--watching it devour the building furiously.
...He had lost his family once again.
HoroHoro coughed weakly as the smoke filled his lungs, bringing his sweater up to cover his mouth, at least. Geeze... he wasn't used to this at all. He was an ice shaman, after all.
He looked around. The last time he had seen Ren was fighting Jeanne... he couldn't still be fighting her, right...? He should at least be trying to escape by now, right...?
He twitched. And he calls me an idiot...
His pace quickened, whipping the sweat dripping from his forehead, sighing as he leaned against a nearby wall. He was already exhausted from fighting, so--
Hao turned, frowning. "Me?" He asked in disbelief. Ugh. HoroHoro wasn't even supposed to be in here! He had stayed behind for a reason! "What about you? You're supposed to be outside!" He twitched at that. The idiot...
HoroHoro rolled his eyes. "Ren's still in there!" He pointed to the direction where Jeanne's room was before coughing. "I'm going after him!"
Hao rolled his eyes. There was really no point in going back now, was there? The were in already--if they went out now by himself, there would probably be no chance of HoroHoro surviving on his own and... frankly... he wasn't in the mood to see his little brother in a depressed state because HoroHoro was too stupid to rescue Ren.
"Come on, Usui. Let's go get your boyfriend."
Yoh's eyes widened as he fell on his knees again, sighing shakily.
HoroHoro still hadn't come out... Neither had Ren or Hao. The flames were just getting larger and larger; it seems like the building would collapse in no time.
Where we they...?
His fists clenched below him, his brows furrowing. He couldn't loose hope.
It was only a matter of time, right?
Eventually, they'd come out. Eventually, they'd all go home. Eventually, they'd all be happy. Eventually, he'd be able to hear Hao's voice again--
Yeah, that voice--
He looked up slowly, his eyes wide.
His brother nodded at him; both HoroHoro and Ren safely on his back. "Aa. Let's go--"
He was cut off when Yoh ran too him, hugging him tightly; the said person smiling slightly to himself--it was a tight, possessive hug; as if Hao were going to disappear at any given moment; as if he never wanted to let him go.
He smiled slightly, despite himself.
Hao was finally back home.
"So... How did you guys make it?" Yoh gazed behind him, staring at the four curiously; his hands behind his head in a relaxed manner--Amidamaru was floating contently behind him.
HoroHoro grinned nervously upon hearing that question. "Well... that is..."
"I saved them." Hao answered Yoh's question calmly, smugly. Oh, he would tease them with this for months...
"Shut up!" Ren and HoroHoro yelled at him at the same time, sending him death glares. They were not about to admit that he saved them--especially when they were perfectly capable of saving themselves!
Currently, the four were walking home together. It had been a few hours since they had left the building to burn; and HoroHoro had become conscious again just a few moments ago.
It was amazing.
When they were first on their way to the chapel, they were all positive that someone would die--or even more likely all of them would end up dead.
But... things worked themselves out. Just as Yoh had said they would.
Really, it was... amusing, to say the least; how the something as simple as that saying could apply to life so much; that it could keep even the most panicked person from going crazy.
Hao had been the one to find Ren--seeing as HoroHoro had fallen unconscious way before then.
Ren... had fallen unconscious as well. Probably far before Hao and HoroHoro had gotten a chance to even try to find him.
And... well... he had to carry both of the unconscious boys out of the fire and into safety.
The only thing that actually did bug Hao, however, was the fact that Jeanne's body was... gone. He couldn't even sense her anywhere near the building when it had collapsed.
His brows furrowed before shaking his head. He probably didn't sense her because... she was dead, right...?
He immediately smirked afterwards though. Ah... no use acting upset, right? They were safe for now... "You owe me, you know." He nodded. "After all, I did risk my life going after you two--"
Ren smacked his forehead in exasperation. "I would have rather died than to be saved by you!" He snapped back furiously.
Hao pouted in a playful manner, poking at Ren's tongari--knowing that it would bother him. "Oh come on, Ren-chan, you should be grateful. You wouldn't be with your boyfriend now without my help, now would you?"
Ren's face darkened as he shook. "Kisama..."
HoroHoro and Yoh stopped, watching them.
"I'm going to kill you!"
HoroHoro held a cloth to his wounds, wincing. "Argh..."
Ren snorted at that, throwing more wood into the fire. "You're still weak." He said in an annoyed manner. "And after all that training..."
"Am not!" HoroHoro pouted, wrapping the said cloths around his wounds. "You didn't get a broken arm! You came out perfectly fine!"
Ren slowly sat, sighing. They had given up walking for now--they had decided to set up camp for the night instead. It was growing dark and... Well... they had wanted to camp under the stars. It was a perfect night to see such a sight.
Right now it was just HoroHoro and Ren sitting around the fire, however--Hao and Yoh had wandered off to look around for a while.
He shot him a concerned look. "...You're alright, aren't you?" It'd be a while before they saw any sign of a clinic, or anything of the sort.
Since they had stopped, they had had a chance to get more materials before finally heading back; now finding themselves in the woods, far away from the small city where they had stopped by a few hours back.
HoroHoro sent him an odd look. "...Yeah." That was... Ren sounded so concerened about him. He slowly grinned, holding up his arm in reassurance as he winced. "You know me! Nothing could get rid of me!"
Ren snorted, rolling his eyes as he looked back at the fire, his cat-like eyes shining a little. "Yeah, I noticed that." Again, he sounded irritated.
HoroHoro twitched. "What's that supposed to mean!" He stuck his tongue out. "You wouldn't last a day without me!"
The other shaman was silent after that remark. "..." If it was at any other time, he would have retorted with a sarcastic remark. But, not this time. This time... it was different. This time, he had thought HoroHoro wouldn't make it out alive.
"Yeah..." He looked away, a light blush taking over his features. "Next time be more careful, idiot."
HoroHoro paused at that before smiling widely, leaning over to kiss the Shaman lightly in reply to that.
...He was with the person he really loved.
Now they didn't need there sister's; no, not that Ren had finally avenged their sisters (and wouldn't stop making smug remarks that he had been the one to do so; not Hao or HoroHoro), they didn't need anyone else.
They had found another shoulder to lean on.
Yoh stared up at the stars, hugging his knees in a content manner. A soft smile played on his features before glancing at Hao, grinning.
He was happy. Very, very happy.
He was with his brother again; HoroHoro and Ren were safe; he didn't have to worry about the X-Laws anymore...
...He froze at that thought, shaking his head. Them dieing... Couldn't have been Hao's fault, right...? The fire started, yes, but... Hao was only trying to protect him, right...?
Yoh blinked upon seeing his brother hand him his mantle, sending him a question look.
Hao looked upwards. "...You looked cold." He said quietly, slowly. Sighing again. After training so much--Hao was used to the cold; even under extreme temperatures.
His younger brother paused before nodding. "What about you?" He didn't want Hao to be cold, either.
Another nod, Yoh looked down. Hao had done a lot for him--he had always been there for him, hasn't he...? Whenever he was sad, or hurt, or in any danger of any kind.
...But as much as much as thinking about his older brother made him very happy, it also hurt him as well. His chest hurt whenever he looked at him--thought about him.
He had... never been that sad. Not until he had been taken prisoner. Not until he had learned that Hao might have been dead.
Yoh had been very depressed himself during that time...
He smiled widely at the thought. He had always felt like this the whole time, hadn't they? Yoh... just hadn't realize it until now, did he...?
"Hao..." He began slowly, a light blush taking over his features.
He slowly looked down, gazing at his brother quietly. "Hmm?"
"I..." His voice trailed off, smiling a bit nervously, despite himself. In his smile held... softness to it, perhaps even gentleness.
He was a bit scared to say this, but... if he didn't say it now, when would be the next time to say it again...?
"I love you."
Hao paused at that, shaking his head. Was it possible for someone Yoh's age to understand such a feeling? To know what it is to love someone? Not just a family, or a brother? But...
"I know." He said quietly, looking at the stars again. "...Me too." He smile played on his lips once more.
Yoh's eyes lit up at that. Hao's smile... always made him so happy, but hearing those words...
He slowly scooted closer to Hao; as if snuggling close.
Finally, they were together again.
Well, I hope you guys are happy. :P This Epilogue was... seriously had to write. And... it took me a while. But with testing... yeah... didn't have much time.
But... wow. That scene between HoroHoro, Ren, and Hao was way too much fun to write for its own good... XDDDD
On an unrelated note: Everyone check out Law of Ueki. Now. It has Shaman King, Full Metal Alchemist, One Piece... it's just... crack. Yep.
...Or Prince of Tennis. Man, I can't get over how slashy that series is... XDDD If you think Shaman King's slashy, go ahead and watch that. xD
With this done... I'll probably finish my challenge fics. :X So all multi-chap fics are on-hold until then.
Anyways, hope you all like this fic! Tell me if you want a sequel!
Review please. :D