T W I N – S T A R S

by Lucathia

A/N: WARNING! This fic is AU, meaning it doesn't follow the Shaman King canon. Characters have entirely different roles in this story. There will be some romance later on in the fic, which will include mostly heterosexual relationships, but there will also be some mention of homosexual relationships too (especially because of Hao's situation). Please heed this warning and make sure that you're fine with both before you read on.

Main Characters: Hao, Yoh, Anna, Jeanne, Ren, Horo Horo
Side Characters: Faust, Marco, Manta, Lyserg, Nichrome, Mari, Macchi, Kanna, Ryu, Opacho, others

summary: AU - Orphan Hao is offered a chance to earn some money as a singer. The catch? Crossdressing. Throw in oblivious!Yoh, Anna and Jeanne competing for the top spot in popularity, and Ren who somehow thinks that Hao would be a good addition to his fan base.

Disclaimer: I do not own Shaman King nor any of the songs mentioned in this fic.

prologue: the child in the streets

Let there be light

Revive a soul.

(Megumi Hayashibara
VA of Kyoyama Anna)

The boy lay on his back with his arms propped behind his head. He had skipped school again, just to watch the fluffy white clouds drift by. His orange headphones covered his ears, playing his second favorite music. It was sung by his fiancée, Kyoyama Anna.

Asakura Yoh was a carefree boy. He truly was. His grandparents loved him, pampered him, and spoiled him. They gave him everything he wanted and never denied him anything. If he wanted to buy, say a really expensive mp3 player, his grandparents would buy it for him immediately. Heck, if he had wanted the stars, his grandparents would have found some way to bring the stars to him. Sometimes, Yoh had to wonder why they were so zealous in complying with his every wish. Was it because of his lack of parents?

His grandparents, however, couldn't give him his parents or even a friend around his own age. The other children in Izumo didn't seem to like him much. Maybe it was because he was spoiled? But it wasn't as if he was stuck up or anything. He just tended to be somewhat lazy and unmotivated, since he didn't have to do anything to get the things he wanted. In the end, he never went out of his way to make friends and the other children never went out of their way to make friends with him either.

His grandparents did try their best in helping him though. They even found him a fiancée. But in the end, a fiancée was different from a friend. Besides, Anna was always busy with her singing career. When she wasn't, she tortured him with never-ending singing drills to train his voice and even countless music lessons so that he could play for her. He shuddered at the thought.

Aside from thinking about Anna, Yoh continued being his lazy self on this normal, quite uneventful day. He continued watching the clouds and listening to his fiancée's singing. Vague thoughts floated through his mind, thoughts along the line of how nice it'd be to have some friends or maybe even some siblings for a change.

Little did Yoh know that he truly did have a sibling, a twin to boot, who was living a life entirely opposite of his, a life not even remotely the same.

With little to do, Yoh let his eyes drift shut as he fell asleep.

Meanwhile, in the busy Shibuya district where teenagers bustled about shopping for the latest fashion, one side street was strangely silent. It was a peaceful kind of silence in which the birds cuddled against each other cooing. All was fine and dandy, until...

"Damn you, stupid #! # #!#!"

Alarmed, the birds took off with fluttering wings.

The cursing continued without stopping.

An older man in the streets heard the cursing. He winced a bit at the words chosen, but he stumbled off the path, searching for the voice.

This man's name was Faust. To be precise, he was Faust VIII, the eighth son in the Faust family. But since he was the only Faust still alive, he had dropped the suffix in his name and came to be known simply as Faust. Not Faust VIII or Faust the Eighth. Simply Faust.

His name didn't really matter much though. Right now he needed money. Desperately. His dear wife, Eliza, was stuck in the hospital. He constantly had to pay her medical fees, and he was starting to run out of money to pay them. He didn't even have any money for the operation that she terribly needed. Every little bit of money he earned went immediately to curing Eliza. He saved nothing for himself. Yet it wasn't enough.

His goal, ever since his youth, was to become a doctor. He had studied countless hours in the best schools in order to become Eliza's personal doctor. Since birth, she had been cursed with a weak body. He wanted to support her with his skills. But when his father had died, he had inherited his father's company, Bones Entertainment. He wouldn't have cared about his father's business at all if it wasn't because the company was his only source of income. Without the business, Faust wouldn't have had to money to go to med school or pay for Eliza's hospital fees. Faust had no choice but to quit his studies to run his father's business. Once he decided to take that path in his life, he couldn't go back to his old status of a med student.

He was now in his forties. Eliza had fallen even more ill in the past year. And to top that, he was on the verge of losing his job. At the present, Bones Entertainment was almost out of business. It was a small company that promoted young female singers. Though he was the owner of the company, he was also one of the managers there. Yet, he hadn't had someone to manage for quite some while now. The company's top rivals were Funbari Spirits and the X-Laws. The two lead singers that they promoted, Kyoyama Anna and Iron Maiden Jeanne, were currently the two most popular female singers. In order to compete with his rival companies, Faust needed a young, female singer to promote. He was desperate. It wasn't about saving his business. It was about saving Eliza.

So, imagine Faust's surprise and thankfulness when he heard the most beautiful voice in the most unexpected place. Granted the voice was used for cursing, but it was still alluring. Faust's sensitive ears were tuned to detecting talent. He immediately started going towards the voice.

He followed the voice, walking past an entire block of buildings in the busy, Shibuya shopping district. He wondered how other people failed to notice the loud, piercing voice. How could they not hear it? The strong, rebellious voice reached towards his heart. Even though the owner of the voice wasn't using it to sing, just the melodious flow of the angry words touched him. He had to find this person!

The cursing was getting louder and louder, meaning that he was approaching his destination. Suddenly, the voice stopped, as if the owner had heard his footsteps and was wary of his approach.

The older man, who was wearing a long white coat and a white hat that seemed entirely out of place in the alley, finally turned the corner, coming eye-to-eye with the possible owner of the voice.

He couldn't really say that he was expecting to see a child in rags, though he knew that something must have caused the voice to be so hate-filled. Was this really the owner of that beautiful voice?

The older man bent down to face the young child. His lips, glossed with purple lipstick, carefully bent upwards, presenting a friendly smile.

"Can you say something?" asked the man, hoping to hear that voice again.

"What do you want?" came the sharp retort.

The man's heart leaped. This was the voice he had heard! This child possessed a voice that would do his company wonders. He glanced at the child's long, dirty hair. He believed that with a bit of touching up, this child would be one of great beauty. Promoting the child would easily save his company. Once he saved his company, he would have enough money to pay Eliza's medical fees. It was a wild hope, but hope nonetheless.

But the problem was...would the child accept his proposition? It didn't hurt to try.

"Would you like to become a singer?" His suggestion was blunt, straight to the point. He was never one who darted around the subject, nor was he one to coat his words in honey.

"I..." The child, blinked, apparently not expecting those words from him.

He waited patiently for the child to continue. He didn't elaborate anymore on his words, instead letting the child decide. Maybe that was the reason his company was almost out of business. He never forced any of the people he scouted to become a singer unless they really wanted to. He preferred to make the suggestion and then let them come to the decision themselves.

The child seemed to be weighing the pros and the cons, probably wondering if his words could be trusted. Finally, the child asked, "How much money will I be able to earn?"

The man's answer was plain as well. "As a beginner singer who no one knows about, not much. But if you become popular, you will earn a lot."

The child slowly nodded.

He smiled, relieved. "Thank you. Bones Entertainment will be happy to welcome you. We were looking for the perfect young female to promote. I'm glad I came upon you today." It was the same introduction message that he told every girl he came upon, but he had never felt those words to be so true.

The child's eyes widened slightly. "Young...female?"

The man didn't seem to have noticed the child's fear, his feeling of relief overwhelming him. Here was his chance to save his company and Eliza at the same time. "Anything wrong?" asked the man, after he stood up and the child made no motion to follow.

The child stood up abruptly. "...nothing's wrong."

The man began walking. "Well, introductions then. I'm Faust, owner of Bones Entertainment. Pleased to meet you." The stop in his introduction seemed to indicate that it was time for the child's introductions.

The child didn't reply immediately, glancing up at the sky through the narrow alley between the two, towering buildings. Here was the chance to earn money, to get off the streets. If being able to survive required...cross-dressing, then so be it.

"Hao. My name is Hao."

He wasn't going to throw away this chance!

to be continued

A/N: This fic is inspired by Shoujo Shounen, Full Moon wo Sagashite, and Penguin Revolution (though not based on them). Also inspired by the wondrous voice actors and actresses in SK, namely Minami Takayama as Asakura Hao, Megumi Hayashibara as Kyoyama Anna, Horie Yui as Iron Maiden Jeanne, Paku Romi as Tao Ren, Ueda Yuuji as Horo Horo, and Satou Yuko as Asakura Yoh. Of course, there are countless other talented VA in Mankin, but I will only be focusing on songs from these ppl. XD

Next chapter: slipping into the façade

Reviews and constructive criticism appreciated.