Revised and Rewritten!
So here you have it. It's my first published mankin fic, and my first non canon pairing fic. Horo-Tamao so if ya don't like it just leave, no one is forcing you to read it then leave a tacky flame as to what a ridiculous couple they are. Respect me, and the only other member in the crowd who likes H-T. *waves*
Disclaimer: again, if you people think I own anything, original Shaman King story, characters, names, blah blah, something is seriously wrong with you. But I will say that the plot of this fanfic is mine as well as the accessory characters, so copy me and I'll have you thrown of out (smiles sweetly)
Getting to Love You
I couldn't believe it had been almost 7 years since it all happened. It doesn't sound like much when you say it. Considering the whole of your life it probably wasn't. But even though I have every moment of it marked in my mind, it seems like the great Shaman Fight was an eternity ago.
"Aren't you ready yet! We're not going to find a good place!"
My sister's shrill voice broke my thread of thoughts as my tie went askew.
"Feh!" I complained looking at my failure of a knot, "Pilica we have more than 5 hours to get there. Sides, it's not as if they invited the whole town. There will probably be like five of us. Plenty of room."
She scowled then hurried over in front of me.
"I want a nice place up front so I can catch the bouquet," she explained adjusting my tie.
I felt the gigantic bead of sweat roll down my head. "Pilica you're 18!"
"19," she corrected, "Do you really want me to become an old maid?"
"I have no problem with that," I interjected.
"Anna-san already beat me to first, of course that wasn't really fair as she had been engaged since she was like 5 but still! I wanna be next."
"Like hell you'll be next," I scowled back at her, "Who'd wanna marry a nut like you anyway?"
She smiled and I caught my mistake far too late, "No, don't tell me! Please don't say it. I don't want to know."
"I was just going to ask why I should have to tell you about my love life when you never tell me anything about the person you like."
"I don't like anybody!" I retorted honestly, "It's not like we get many female visitors up at the farm."
"You work in the city Nii-chan."
"The only girl I see besides you is Coloro... I wonder if you can marry a spirit?"
Pilica raised an eyebrow at me as my companion spirit appeared at her shoulder with a look of confusion in her eyes. I blinked at my own disturbing musings.
"Are you ready now?" she asked checking me over.
I turned to look at the mirror satisfied enough with how I looked. I was never really a formal guy, but had to admit I looked hot in a tux. Damn!
"Yeah, I guess."
"You're not wearing that are you?" I turned to find her staring at my forehead, specifically to my trusty bandana.
"What? I put the black one on!"
She crossed her arms as I noticed it was suddenly in her hands. What the—? When the hell—? Before I could protest my hair fell around my head.
"Oi! Do you really want me going like this?" I asked trying to get it out of my eyes.
"Maybe that way someone will notice you," she countered picking up her purse and stuffing the black fabric in it.
I scowled at her as she headed out the door but I had long since learned it was useless to argue and win against my sister. So giving a small sigh of resignation I tried to manage the blue locks so they wouldn't get in my eyes. Then I followed my sister to what would probably be the event of the century.
"Get your hands out of your pockets you look weird!"
I sighed following my sisters orders as we approached the Asakura temple.
Turning to the sound of my name I couldn't help but smile at the guy that greeted us, "Choco Love! Look at you man! How are you?"
We exchanged a quick hug before he lowered his sunglasses and got that gleam in his eye, "R, U? Well, I'm S, T."
Silence. I paled, more so when after a few seconds of aggravating stillness my sister erupted in laughter beside me.
"Oh I get it! The letters! Hahaha!"
Choco Love gave a small cough in victory, as I tried discreetly to push my sister away.
"So how've you been? What have you been up to? It's been ages since I've heard from any of you," he continued.
"Uh, yeah. Well, I'm still at the reserve; it's a lot of work maintaining such a large garden just the two of us. And of course I still have some paperwork to do after Shii-sama's death."
"Oh yeah, I heard about that. Sorry man," he interrupted.
"Yeah well, who knew dying in society was such a hassle," I tried for a lighthearted tone. But the truth was that Shii-sama's death was still recent enough that it hurt to talk about it, so I changed the subject quickly.
"But I'm also taking some classes in the city. Nothing major, just a few biology and agronomy seminars. All in all, everything's been fine."
"That's great to hear," he smiled.
"What about you Choco Love?" my sister asked still smiling, "We only get a letter from you every once in a while."
A cocky smile invaded his face before he answered in a cool voice, "Well... I've been busy as well."
He got that weird gleam in his eyes and for a moment I thought that he was about to come up with another atrocious joke. Instead he looked past us and waved, "Shala, come over for a second."
Pilica and I tilted our heads back to see someone approaching. Our jaws dropped. Or at least mine did. I had never seen a more beautiful figure of a human being. She was around our age, tall, curvy, with light brown hair, dark green eyes and a cute little smile. She almost looked familiar but I couldn't quite put my finger on it. Maybe it was just my imagination. But what on earth was she doing with the Chocolate Boy? How on earth did he get these kinds of women?!
"Shala," he began as she took her place beside him, "this is the ice boy I was talking about and his sister. Horo-Horo, Pilica, this is my girl Shala."
"Pleased to meet you," she smiled at us.
"Nii-chan, quit sulking," I head my sister hiss at me, "This is a happy day!"
I couldn't help it, now I was completely bummed. Because not one, but two of my best friends turned out to be more competent in love than me. Yoh I could understand, but the Choco-Fro? I sulked some more. Then to top off my day I had to be seated up front with Ren and his sister Jun. This wouldn't have bothered me at all if he and my sister hadn't been exchanging really weird glances at each other.
Realizing this is where I was at the age of 21 I sighed again, wallowing in my own pathetic-ness. I complained about not having a girlfriend when I was fourteen, and the fact that seven years had gone by without so much as a deep interest for anybody was just sad.
Noticing the seat to my left had just been taken I tilted my head sideways. I blinked. It took me a moment to recognize her knowing when I saw her face that I had seen this girl somewhere before.
Though a bit grown, messy bangs still framed her face and it was most of all the light pink tone of her hair that gave her away. She turned towards me and gave me a meek smile.
Panicking, I realized I didn't remember her name! What was it? Ti-, Te-, Ta-, "Tamamura-san," I tried nervously. That was it, right? "How have you been?"
"Fine, thank you, and you?"
I gave a silent sigh of relief and smiled, "Busy but happy. Making progress you could say."
We smiled stupidly at each other for a while before turning away awkwardly. I couldn't think of anything else to say to her. Maybe it was because I didn't know her at all, or maybe I was just a little shocked that it was really her. I mean, the last time I had seen this girl she had been waiting patiently by my sister very glad to see Yoh had come back safe. Blushing of course; still with a relatively young perspective of life. I remembered her as the little girl that had a crush on my best friend and would get very nervous over any little thing. A very good cook; couldn't forget about that. She seemed to have a thing with sweatpants ne?
Unluckily for me though, she was not wearing sweat pants today. I actually think I would have preferred it if she had been. This way I wouldn't have to decide if staring at her legs was weird at all. A long ivory dress hugged her (cough) new figure with a large slit in the middle of her thigh similar to Jun Tao's. Faithful to the color, tiny light pink roses framed the v-neck of the elegant sleeveless dress. Her hair was up in a simple bun with a few runaway streaks of hair.
All in all, she looked very nice. Not knowing why, I had a sudden urge to know if my hair was out of control. Obviously feeling my gaze on her she turned with a blush.
"Is something wrong?"
Her voice had barely changed since the last time I heard her. And seeing her cheeks redden under her makeup somehow brought back memories.
"Ah, no. I'm sorry. It's just been a while since I've seen, well, anybody for that matter. It's kind of weird seeing how we've all grown up," was it getting hotter in here or something?
"Oh," she nodded still blushing, "Yes, well, growing up tends to happen to kids."
Before I could stop myself a snort escaped my mouth seemingly scaring her (and me) as the conversation died once again. I felt like an idiot. That Chocolove thing was really getting to me if I was ogling random women now. It was only when Yoh stepped up to the alter and caused enough distraction in everyone that it died down.
"Yo!" he greeted cheerfully.
I don't know what else I expected from him, and had to laugh as the few people in the three benches waved back at him. Looking behind me I saw Faust was here with Eliza. Ryu couldn't be left behind with all the gang, it had been a while since I had seen them. Manta took his position a little past where Jun and Pyron were. What surprised me though, was the sight of Lyserg and Silver few places back. As I suspected this would be an interesting ceremony.
"You may kiss the bride."
I smiled. It had been odd. It was a Japanese ceremony preformed by Yoh's oji-san, but neither he nor Anna were dressed in traditional clothing, and that last part although seemingly corny, really gave the wedding a lighthearted finish.
I looked around at my friends, seeing my sister cry gleefully as Yoh placed his hand softly over Anna's cheek. Jun and Pyron smiled happily up at the couple unconsciously leaning towards one another. Ryu was crying all over the place, shouting words of congratulations while the gang joined in stereo style. Manta couldn't have looked prouder of his friend, now wielding his traditional victory sign at everyone. Faust and Eliza seemed to be remembering the day when they got married because more than clap for the newlyweds the seemed happy to be in each other's arms. And I swear by my snow board that Ren was smiling, and blushing! He was trying like hell not to but I could see it.
A muffled sob by my side caught my attention when Yoh and Anna kissed a second time before exiting the temple. Tamao had a smile, but it looked... wrong. Tears were streaming down her face as she looked longingly at the couple's backs. I couldn't help but feel kind of sorry for her as it dawned on me that she still might have feelings for Yoh.
I watched her trying to hold back on her emotions wondering if I should say something. I didn't know what she was going through, so I'd probably just make it worse, but— Digging into my sister's purse I pulled out the only piece of fabric I could offer her.
I extended my hand out for her with my bandana in hand. She looked down a bit surprised as I set it in front of her. She looked from my hand to my face and as the confusion lifted a blush crept up her neck and cheeks.
"I think you're a very brave person having come here today," I offered.
Noticing everyone around me was standing up I did as well, leaving her in the same position and with my arm still outstretched. Deciding that if she was going to take my bandanna she was taking too long, I took her hand and placed it gently over it. I didn't get to see her reaction as Pilica suddenly pulled me along out to the garden.
Well despite the disturbing awareness that Pilica and Ren kept looking weirdly at each other, and the creepy fact that even though Tamao caught the bouquet she promptly gave it to my sister, it had been a good evening; even if Ren had freaked out more than me when this happened. I would have to have a serious talk with him later.
Already past four in the morning I was starting to regret having had a fourth bottle of sake. Hell it started tasting good after the third one! I couldn't really see strait and getting up to say goodbye to everyone I was sure I hadn't been this tall when I sat down. Lyserg hadn't stayed long and Choco Love had gone off to some unknown place with his date. It had been enough partying for one night though, so everyone decided it was best to get going.
Looking around the small room I noticed the booze had taken its toll on many. Jun for example kept bursting into fits of moderate giggles getting a worried expression from Pyron. Manta was snoring over a small coffee table and Ryu had not stopped singing since his fourth bowl.
A tug at my sleeve turned my attention to my sister. Yes, it was time to leave. Goodbyes where lighthearted and cheery as we went around the room, each saying it wouldn't be long before they saw each other again.
"We should go now," she whispered.
"Un," I nodded looking for the other part of my tux, "Have you seen my jacket?"
"It should be where everyone else's is, just down the hall there's a room where we left them. Can you get mine while you're at it? I'll wait for you here."
I nodded and made my way to the shoji door. Remembering the halls a lot straighter I found the room that turned out to be the kitchen. All of our jackets had been neatly hung over various chairs rather than on the floor where they had probably been dumped.
Realizing the sound of water running wasn't my imagination I looked up to the sink surprised to find Tamao busy with something I could only guess were the dishes. It was when I also realized I had an incredible urge to pee that she noticed me as well.
She had let her bun down and it was now in a loose ponytail at her nape letting me see that her hair had grown a little past her shoulders. A small apron was around her satin dress and instead of heels she had changed into comfortable fluffy slippers.
"You're washing dishes?" I asked, surprised that I hadn't noticed she hadn't been in the room with us, "At 4 in the morning?"
An embarrassed smile crept up her lips as she nearly dropped the cup in her hands, "This way there will be less work in the morning," she explained.
My eyes narrowed in confusion as I watched her nervously rinse and dry off the crystalline cup, "It is... the morning!"
"Are you leaving?" she asked quietly ignoring my last comment.
"Uh," Thrown off by the change in the conversation it took me a while to process her question, "Yeah, everybody's off. I just came to get my jacket and my sister's coat."
She nodded and picked up another cup from the sink.
"You should at least come to say goodbye to everyone," I suggested.
"Oh but I'm not presentable anymore," she blushed at her slippers then looked back up at me.
"Heh! What, the slippers? They're cute! Hell almost everyone is drunk I don't think they'll even notice," I smiled getting my coat.
Looking down at her feet her blush deepened. Where my words slurring?
"Maa, don't worry Tami, I'll send your regards to Pilica."
I noticed I was being awfully familiar with this girl and I still needed to pee, so maybe it was best if I left.
Gathering my sister's coat I turned to leave before her faint voice called out, "Matte HoroHoro-san."
I looked back at her with curios eyes and noticed she took something from the pocket of her apron. Blinking a few times I recognized it as my bandanna, "Oh."
"Sorry it's still damp. I-I didn't have time to, to wash it. If you like I can clean it up and later send it to you or, if you want it right away I can—"
"Still damp?" I asked a bit shocked.
"Well, I-I'm sorry. Yes, it was inconsiderate of me to—"
She stopped when out of curiosity I gently grabbed her chin pulling her face up to mine. Looking closely I could see a bit of lingering tears in the corner of her eyes. Had she really been crying all this time? I meant for my bandanna to be useful, but not this much.
"You know Tami, I get that you're a bit caught up with Yoh and shit, but I don't believe he or anyone else for that matter is worth your tears." Shocked eyes looked up into mine as I said this. I didn't know why. I was only telling her the truth. Maybe it was the cursing, I tended to do that with booze. I should apologize, but later. I was on a roll.
"I suppose I don't really know what you're going through so I'm not sure what you want to hear, but I do know you're a nice gal, and definitely don't deserve this," unaware that she had begun to blush again I released her face and gave a mild shrug. "Or maybe I should stop talking about things I don't know and just leave you alone ne? Whatever the case, I hope you never have to cry for a guy again."
Big ruby eyes stared up at me as I turned and flung my jacket over my shoulder. "It was nice seeing you Tamao. Oh and you can keep the bandanna, it's more useful to you than it ever was to me, I suppose."
Not knowing the next day I would remember just everything I said to this girl I shut the shoji door behind me and walked casually down the hall to meet my sister.
Where the hell was the bathroom?!
Finally! The rewritten super edited version is ready! I can't apologize enough to my readers who have been faithful and oh so patient. All I can do is offer you this story and hope you like it even better. So, that was the prologue in Horo-kun's POV. All the rest will be by narrator.
Since it has been so very long I decided to do a major editing of the whole story so you could read it once again from the very beginning. The basic outline is the same but there are a few big things I changed in later chapters. So onward! Next chap will be up tomorrow.