T W I N - S T A R S

by Lucathia

Disclaimer: I do not own Shaman King.

chapter 13: the concert

When Yoh stepped through the mist, he had to squint against the blinding light. His hand moved up to his face to shade his eyes. He couldn't make out any of the faces of the audience, but that didn't help him any. He distinctively felt their collective stares on him, as if they could stare right through him, uncovering him for the civilian that he was. Although his walk and his smile were as assured as ever, inside, he was just a bit anxious.

He wondered if they had figured it out yet. Maybe he should tell them that he wasn't who they were waiting for?

The man with the disturbing glint in his eyes had not dressed Yoh up to masquerade as Ha-chan. Instead, Yoh was dressed in a black turtleneck that clung to his body and a pair of dark jeans that fit him snugly. Yoh didn't know whose clothes these were, but they fit him perfectly, so perfectly that anyone should be able to tell that he wasn't female if they looked closely enough. Yoh had been told to "stall as long as he could," but with his appearance on stage like this and his frightening similarity with Ha-chan, how could the audience not go wild?

He looked down at the music sheets the man had shoved into his hands. Yoh had come to Tokyo to see Ha-chan. He had never expected to take Ha-chan's stage. Anna was going to kill him, and Ha-chan's concert was going to be a mess because of him. He was already starting off on the wrong foot with her despite not having even met her yet.

He exhaled slowly. Everything was going to turn out fine. All he had to do was play, a feat almost as simple as breathing for him.

He swung his legs over the bench, sitting himself down in front of the keyboard. He had never tried his hand at playing these songs, but Yoh had listened to Ha-chan's songs countless times during the past few days while he yearned to learn more about Ha-chan. Her songs were all that he had of her. He knew her songs by heart, even better than the songs Anna had assigned to him to practice.

The audience faded into the background. They no longer mattered.

His fingers danced across the keys.

Everyone around Manta began cheering the moment the first few notes of Ha-chan's chilling song graced the air.

Manta did not cheer along with them. The couple in front of him started waving their hands along with the music, making it hard for him to see the person on stage, but Manta did not need to see to know that Ha-chan wasn't the one on stage. Manta's heart was doing somersaults. With that kind of keyboarding, that had to be Yoh-kun up on stage. Manta knew that Yoh-kun was skilled with instruments. Yoh-kun had played for him once, and the music had been ethereal. Even when Yoh-kun had played a song for Manta using a leaf of all things, his music had been indescribable. Yoh-kun approached playing with the same kind of laid-back attitude he had with life. The result was a soothing and natural tune. Even with Ha-chan's slow, soulful song, Yoh-kun's personality added a new flair to the song. The song felt...warmer somehow, and very different from Ha-chan's rendition.

The small boy's eyes darted around nervously. The mist obscured Yoh's figure, but it was only a matter of time before people noticed that the person on stage wasn't Ha-chan. Manta didn't understand why they hadn't been given an explanation for Yoh-kun's presence...and Ha-chan's absence. It didn't make sense for Yoh-kun to be on stage. His family owned the opposing idol company after all!

Just what was Bones Entertainment up to?

This was Ha-chan's tune, thought Yoh. This was her song, meant to be graced by her special voice. Without her voice, it was lacking. He couldn't fill in the void. But with the upcoming instrumental part between the verses, it was finally his time to shine. Ha-chan's original song required several instruments, none of which were at his disposal, but with some expert keyboarding skills on his part, he could make it work. He needed to make it work. This wasn't his concert to ruin. He was already in enough trouble for sneaking out of Izumo while his grandparents were away. He hadn't told Anna about his plans either. He couldn't imagine she'd be happy about how things had turned out. Yoh had thought that he would merely be watching Ha-chan's concert along with his friend Manta, and maybe, if he was lucky enough, he'd be able to meet Ha-chan backstage. How wrong he had been!

He wanted to make this concert perfect for Ha-chan, but these thoughts weren't helping him concentrate. Strange, he usually never had any problems with concentrating. Had the stage always been this huge? Was that dark mass out there full of people watching him, waiting for him to mess up? Were they wondering who he was?

"We want to hear you sing!" screamed a fan.

Yoh faltered, his finger hitting the wrong key. He deftly continued without breaking the rhythm. He had been prepared to hear their discontent. He knew he couldn't keep playing forever, but being interrupted in the midst of the interlude, the part where there wasn't any singing in the first place, was very disheartening.

The crowd began murmuring, the volume cascading, almost drowning out Yoh's soft notes. Other than the first shout, he couldn't make out what they were saying. That only made him more conscious of the audience. His tenseness was showing in his music.

The song was coming to an end, and he was entirely ruining her image for her. He had stalled for as long as he could. It was time that he stood up and apologized to the crowd--

"In my chants," sang the slow, confident voice. "a blade, a mirror, and a stone...

Yoh's head jerked up at that powerful voice that came from behind, the voice that had captivated him like nothing else. He almost couldn't believe that she was right behind him. He almost couldn't believe that they were on the same stage...together. She had only been an abstract voice, a picture on a magazine. Now, she was within his reach. He wanted to ask her a million questions. All thoughts of stopping and apologizing to the audience had flown out of his mind. He nearly paused his playing, but even when he faltered, Ha-chan continued as if they had planned to take the stage together from the start. Her voice reached out to the very corners of the stadium. He wasn't the only one who her voice had touched.

She maneuvered her way over to Yoh as she sang, her red high heels coming into Yoh's vision. It was hard to keep himself focused on playing when she was so close.

When Ha-chan began the the last verse, she held her hand out to Yoh. Her fingers were long and slender--very suitable for playing the piano, thought Yoh.

His eyes followed those hands up, and when he finally met her eyes, he saw her eyes widen. Apparently, she had not expected him to look exactly like her.

He clasped her hand amidst the confusion, his fingers leaving the keyboard behind. At the touch of his hand, she snapped out of her surprise and pulled Yoh up to stand next to her. The high heels made her taller than him, but without them, they would probably be the same height.

She probably wasn't expecting him to sing, but he opened his mouth anyway, his voice harmonizing with hers.

"The blade in the spirit, the mirror in the soul, the stone in the heart. "

They walked to the front of the stage with their hands still entwined. With Ha-chan next to his side, the stage didn't look daunting at all. Even the bright light that singled Ha-chan and him out didn't feel piercing. Yoh truly felt that everything would be all right now. He glanced at Ha-chan as they sang the last word together, wondering what she was going to say to the audience about him.

Ha-chan, as if she knew he was looking at her, turned her head and smiled her impish smile at him.

Yoh felt something flutter inside. The next moment, that smile ceased to be his only. She turned to face the crowd, her smile aimed towards all of her fans.

"Thanks for coming to my concert," she spoke into the mic. "All of you must have been wondering where I was and just who this boy beside me is."

As she gestured at Yoh, the audience murmured its agreement. All in all, the audience was subdued. Most of them were still shocked over the two identical people on stage.

"Well, I was quite surprised myself," continued Ha-chan, "but apparently this boy and I will be forming a duo called Twin Stars."

Yoh froze at those words just as the audience erupted, his hands unconsciously tightening on Ha-chan's. She turned back to him, her smile still in place, as if she hadn't noticed the tightening of his hands.

"Please welcome him, everyone!"

Yoh stared blankly at Ha-chan's challenging eyes. Her voice was sugary sweet and her smile was teasing, but her eyes spoke otherwise. He still couldn't believe what she had just said either.

Just how had things turned out this way? Anna was not going to like it.

to be continued

A/N: I just read a cute manga called Charisma Doll that's focused around a crossdressing idol. That made me remember this fic!

I meant to use parts of Hao's songs in this chapter, but I can't find translations anywhere. The songs are in classical Japanese, so they're very hard to translate. I used whatever parts of it I could.

...if any of you are still following this, I would love to hear from you.

Next chapter: "You left me for her!?"