Author's Notes: Sorry again for the delay! Thank you for all those wonderful and heart-warming reviews! I will tell you no more, here's NA's chapter four entitled: The Heaven Cried. The last part of the chap might be sappy, wrote it while listening to Anna ni Issho Datta No Ni Athrun Zala Feeling. Gosh, I would spend my life listening to that and TM Revolution's Ignited. Oh and yes, I'm a Gundam Seed and GS Destiny Fanatic.

Confusions arise dramatically in this chapter, but all will be cleared on the fifth. If you don't like to be puzzled with my story you are free to press the back button. I'm sorry guys, I can't accept flames yet, still need to develop this motivation you have given me through your moral support.

Disclaimer: Shaman King belongs to Hiroyuki Takei and to him only, not mine.

Nostalgic Affection
-shackled wisteria-
The Heaven Cried
Chapter Four

(Anna)

I am a fool, to have fallen in love with you.

I murmured it on your shirt, silently, for fear that you might hear it.

"How can you love someone who doesn't want to be loved at all?"

You stiffened and your arms around mine loosened. Did I do something that make you want to turn away from me now? But something hit me hard, I forgot how I have always been a burden for you from the very beginning when I entered your life.

I cried still and without second thoughts, I mumbled again, "How can you love someone who doesn't want to be loved at all?"

With that, your hands dropped and were put on top of mine. Gently, painstakingly, you removed my arms that were encircled on your waist, saying, "It's late, go to sleep."

Slowly I nodded, "So should you."

"Oyasumi nasai," you gestured your chin towards the door, indicating that you're about to leave. And as I thought, you grabbed the latch of the shoji and it was closed by a click.

I dropped on my knees, contemplating on my thoughts. The fleeting memory I had shared with you this night will forever be here in my heart. Yoh, I never knew your feelings. You're hard to understand, very hard to understand that living with you is indeed a hard thing to do. And now I'm asking myself, what made me stay here with you?

Oh yes…

Because I love you. But it doesn't mean that if I love you, you love me too. In fact, I believe you don't have to love me, with you giving me those cold glares, with your unnerving attention it's more than enough.

Startled, I turned my head towards the door, seeing you there, standing, calm yet something tells me I should not reply to whatever you will say.

"Considering that you are still my grandmother's favorite student and you've lived with the Asakura's for quite a long time, be happy that I'm still paying respect on you."

Then he added, without meaning to do it so though, "Anna. And I agree, the contract will be official, tomorrow, in front of my grandparents. I do not know how special that is to you, but if you are really that aggressive in finding yourself a fiancée, then be it."

"Tomorrow then," I agreed.

As you turn around for the second time to head to your room which is diagonally positioned from mine, I sighed. I thought you were mad again.

Aggressive. Yes, insistent on finding myself a fiancée to get away from the hell you and this house have become. In addition, I do know, that for one reason, staying with you here only increases your disdain towards people and things you encounter in our daily lives.

Yoh Asakura, you don't have to tell it to me over and over again, that I am the reason of your defeat and why you've become a jerk.

I love you that moving heaven and hell will not be impossible if you want me to do it so. Same applies to our situation with Hao. How wrong were you when you thought I will never show a strand of my hair to him? He's your brother after all, he has power, and his bargain with me is not yet through since I never did agree with his hidden agenda. But with you being like this, I think it would be better to sacrifice a little.

A little.

And that knowledge is enough to keep my life going.

6:35 in the morning.

Asakura Yoh rolled over to the right side of his futon, hitting his alarm clock in the process. Rays of sunlight crept through the shoji doors, making him crumple his head even more. Yoh insipidly groaned at the sun's persistence to pry his eyes open. He shut his eyelids so tight that lines were formed across his forehead. It was not the perfect time to get up.

He burrowed himself deeper under the bed sheets and shaped his body into a ball. Though he still seemed to be asleep, his mind wasn't, more specifically his heart. He stayed awake for one whole night, trying to recover the shock he had received from his old friend.

How can you love someone who doesn't want to be loved at all?

Yoh's eyes shot widely opened as he tried to recall last night's event. He was sure he heard it right, that was the exact statement Anna murmured into his shirt. At first it was something he thought was incoherent, but when she repeated it, it became clearer to him. And yes, it was stupid of him, he never understood what Anna said so then, he kept quiet and did not ask for further questions.

Morning lightened his room, revealing how messy Yoh is when it turns to his personal belongings. His wooden drawers stuck out from one to another, and his headphones rested near the trash can. He got up and stayed in a calm, sitting position. He made sure that he left Anna in her room in the right time and had done nothing more to inflict damage on her emotions.

'She's still lucky that you didn't slash her throat, big time.' His mind reasoned out as a matter-of-factly.

"Shut up," said Yoh to the pestering voice inside his head.

Today was the day Yoh believed he had anticipated to come. Today, together with Anna, he will see his family again, for the first time in four years. He remembered clearly what his father had said after Hao defeated him.

"Since you weren't able to defeat Hao, you will no longer be considered an Asakura, by name perhaps, but by our hearts, I'm sorry Yoh, forgive us. This one might be fated to happen. You're not my son anymore."

The wound was still there and thinking how his world crumbled before him that moment just evoked more pain.

Tuesday. How we wished Manta will come over that morning to inform their adviser that he and Anna will not be attending classes that day. Getting up, he went inside the bathroom to have a shower before having himself a breakfast.

Leaning herself against the wall, Anna attempted to close her eyes for a minute, but as soon as she's halfway finished, her ebony eyes would flutter, causing her to stay awake whole night. Deterring an itako is probably the hardest thing a human can do, but in her case, being daunted falls under the "ex category" as in "past category". Ever since she weakened her state of defense with her rigid wall and aloof demeanor, the fear built inside her for years that she has been running, hiding was finally exposed despite of her endeavor to put things back the way they used to be.

She was an itako, someone who calls on spirits, and was taught never to show emotions and be nothing but an empty soul. But she isn't one now, never will she be one detached itako again, for she can already feel. It took her more than ten years to build a façade prepared for any impairment, a wall made for resistance. Yet, it took him only a day to break it since he forced his way in her wall, shattered it, burned it. And without her barrier, the Anna Kyouyama will be nothing but a runt.

Sure, she made it clear to herself that she will pick the remnants of the insensitive Anna Kyouyama little by little. And she even promised herself to go on until she succeeded so that in the end none of her pleas will be unattended. But it will take her another ten years to build a steelier one, and another ten years to forget the person who broke it.

Yoh Asakura.

Gathering herself from the floor, Anna made her way in front of the mirror. Scrutinizing her whole being dressed in her usual black dress (she wasn't able to change her dress), she noticed that her eyes weren't those usual half-shut and boring eyes. Instead, they were sullen, and an emotion of angst lingers terribly in each and every glitter of the light. Her body proportion did not change that much though, she's still skinny for her age, yet her curves were developed from the time being. Her golden locks grew past her shoulders for the past years. Feeling quite contented with what she has become, Anna exited her room, trying to stir the numb young woman that she was.

With her small hands still placed on top of the shoji's lever, Anna was startled to see Yoh up so early at exactly five minutes before seven in the morning with a towel draped on his brunette hair.

Anna smiled inside. 'This is something new, something extraordinary.'

Yoh, too, bore a shocked expression on his face, "I was surprised to see you here, I thought you were downstairs already."

"Same goes with you," she countered, immediately, decisively. Then she continued, "I'll be going to the bathroom then, see you downstairs."

Yoh nodded as his gaze trailed off to where Anna was heading to. He sighed.

"It felt so good to see her not spurning my head out," he murmured.

'And it felt so good to see you too not kicking her out of the house.' A voice inside his head pestered, making him grunt a little.

"Shut up. I'm not that stupid to do that."

"Who are you talking to?" Anna asked startling Yoh too much that she made him jump a meter away.

Yoh felt his heart gave a leap when he heard Anna's berating voice came into picture. He stammered, "Well—uhh—no one in particular. I'm just practicing on how to deal with the use of telepathy."

Anna rolled her eyes. "What the?"

"Anyway Anna, I thought you're going to the bathroom?"

"Yes, indeed I am. I just forget to bring my towel." With that, Anna entered her room then sprinted towards the washroom.

Yoh felt his inside churned with something he wasn't able to comprehend. He grumbled all the way downstairs still complaining how his stomach just flipped for no apparent reason.

"You must've been really hungry Yoh," he said quietly to himself while massaging his stomach. Yoh frowned, it was the first time in seventeen years that he felt his insides tumble as if a rolling ball has made its way down to his intestines, rolling. In addition, he wasn't able to determine the meaning it was trying to imply especially when he felt so light and contented the moment he felt the flip-flop.

"That's strange, I'm sure I never felt this before," he scratched his head as his right hand traveled in the fridge's contents.

"No rice, no instant noodles, no food to cook, no egg to fry," said Yoh, with pure sarcasm evident in his voice. "What kind of house is this!"

He sighed, slapping his face. "Maybe I should stop over to any grocery store in Izumo."

DING DONG!

Yoh stuck his head out of the refrigerator when the doorbell rang. He shoved his hands inside his pockets then walked to the front door.

'Must be Manta.' He thought.

As soon as he opened his door, an ever glowing Manta greeted him with that usual grinning face. "Ohayou Yoh!"

Yoh waved at him, "Hi there, come in."

in the kitchen—

"So you and Anna are not going to attend classes today huh?" Manta asked, chewing the loaf of bread Yoh had offered him.

"Yeah," said Yoh, like Manta, he was munching on his bread too. "Which reminds me, can you tell our prof about it?"

"Sure," Manta assented. His short arms reach for butter on the table. "Where is Anna by the way?"

"Upstairs," answered Yoh.

"Still upstairs?"

"Yes." Yoh managed to rise his brow to his friend. "Why?"

"Nothing," Manta shook his head. "Where are you guys off to anyways?"

Yoh smirked a little, finding Manta's curiosity to be a bit amusing. "To where my feet take me—este, to where our feet take us."

Manta, who has grown a fairly amount of seven inches, queried insistently, while the shaman tried to avoid his question. "Where in particular?"

Yoh repeated in an annoyed yet mocking tone. "To nowhere in particular."

"Stop fooling around with that midget," a voice interrupted, "Asakura."

Anna's gaze lingered on Yoh's bewildered one's. Manta, on the other hand stayed back and forcefully zipped his mouth as Anna, the itako seemed to bring an atmosphere of incisive apprehension. There she was, leaning on the wall, with arms crossed in front of her, dressed in a white blouse and red skirt covered with a yellow coat and her golden locks tied into a ponytail with some strands falling on her face.

Her voice was penetrating when she demanded for an answer. "What are you doing in here, early this morning, humpy-dumpy?"

Manta froze. Anna demanded for answer. Yoh understatedly countered. "Silly, do you still need to find out why Manta arrives here every morning?"

Anna grunted, shrugged her shoulders, hesitantly she answered a simple no.

Nothing was said after that. Yoh grinning. Manta laughing. Anna, well typical Anna, grumbling.

"See you tomorrow then Yoh!" Manta waved energetically, then he turned around and started to walk oppositely from the two teens.

"So where are we going now?" Yoh stretched his arms high above his head then crossed it behind.

"To the train station," Anna said, as she began walking ahead of the shaman, her shoes thudding on the ground. She frowned. Yoh was not being the devil who screams and bawls at every thing he sees. Instead, he was cheerful, the bummer he usually was, the lazy happy-go-lucky who does not care even if the world crumbles right before his eyes.

She grimaced deeper when she heard him whistling all the way while walking behind her. He was getting on her nerves! How dare he! One minute, he's scowling at her to die then another minute, he turns so happy that he acts as if nothing has happened last night.

She stopped so he stopped too. Both of them quietly stood in the empty street as the wind hushed tenderly, making it hard for Anna to start a conversation.

Cold.

She was trying and trying to be one. She pretended to be numb, but every time she tried she would feel helpless and with no avail she would turn back to that Anna Kyouyama who can give sympathy. Then the matters got worse when she admitted to herself that she loves the shaman who broke her heart not just once, not twice but loads of time.

She clenched her fists yet she didn't stop though she surely felt that her blood paused from circulating. She was annoyed. Anna was aggravated by how her old friend can easily forget what he did and what he always does. Screaming at her, blaming her. And the cycle goes on and on until she finally accepted the truth that she's the reason of the death of the real Yoh Asakura.

She opened her mouth to speak, she formed the words yet no sound came out. Next attempt, she was able to produce the exact words she wanted to say.

"If you are tired, then let me tell this to you Yoh, I'm tired too."

He was angry, she assumed. But she was unsure.

Yoh walked up to Anna, though preoccupied with his own thoughts, he heard it clearly. 'Anna is tired too?'

He touched her shoulders but she shrugged it off.

Anna dropped her head then trembled. Closing her eyes she let the pain pierce her being once again. "Don't pretend that everything is ok when you know it's not!"

"I'm not pretending," Yoh answered flatly. "Maybe you are…" His voice trailed off.

Anna, still shaking tremendously, managed to snap back. "You said you are not pretending! And I am the one who is! Let's just be true to ourselves and admit that both of us are!"

Yoh clenched his fists. Never did he expect something like this to happen. He stepped backwards to make the distance between them increase to a meter. Anna's back still facing him.

"I don't know what you are saying. If I admit that I am really pretending like what you told me, nothing will change right?" he inquired, slowly, warily.

Without warning, Anna was surprised to see droplets of water falling from her eyes and into the ground. Tears. She was being weak again, the wall built around her was slowly fading. Her knees started to waver but she didn't mind. What's wrong in showing her weakness to Yoh, when he was the first one to see it and break through the façade she has been wearing for so long?

Once again, she demanded for answers. She was eager to know what made her so weak in front of him. What made her so helpless in front of him anyways? Was it because she was searching for pity within his boundless stare? Or was it plainly because she loves him and knowing that he does not and will never love her back pain her more than his accusations do?

She thought she prevailed in rebuilding the insensitive Kyouyama Anna but as always Yoh would destroy her barrier and start attacking it with the materials she never needed to build her wall namely: trust, hope and love. Trust because he would sometimes make her feel as if she has nothing to fear. Then after that, he would take it away. Hope, because he believes in her for so many years when no one else does. Then again, he would run, away from her and steal the hope he had build inside her heart. Love, because he made her feel it, yet he did not love her back. And the aftermath? She would cry and cry until she finally realized how those things damaged her being.

"Something will change!" she wailed. "If you just told me earlier that you're tired of having me around for four years after Hao defeated you, then it wouldn't have been this hard for both of us! If you could've told me earlier then no one of us will get hurt!"

"Still," Yoh's face darkened as his fists shook lightly, "nothing will change."

"Stop insisting that nothing will ever change! I'm not an idio-"

"And I'm not one too, Anna. The damage has been made the moment I have been defeated," he said simply yet he angered her more. Finally Anna turned around to meet Yoh's expressionless stare with her livid guise. Tears damped her face and her eyes were a bit swollen. Yoh's heart skip a second upon seeing her cry again.

"But why didn't you tell me! Why didn't you tell me you were hurt after that! I thought it was ok for you since you never complained! You kept quiet! Everyday you would show me those easy smiles, acting as if you are—I mean we are still living a normal life when you know we aren't!"

"But we're still living a normal life Anna, the only difference is my family does not care about me anymore," he muttered through gritted teeth. "Besides I know you'll blame yourself for my defeat."

"But that's what you're doing now!"

"So, I'm right to think that my quietness triggered your conscience to build some extra confidence in me again, ne Anna?" he asked. "I wondered why you asked for a fiancée in our contract though."

"It's none of your business," she retorted.

"It is, because I'm perfectly sure you know why I wanted to be your trainer," Yoh smiled sadly as he directly looked into Anna's eyes.

"Because you want to kill Hao and get the title away from him," she said, shifting his gaze on the opposite direction.

"Right," agreed Yoh. Showing his perfect white teeth, Yoh passed Anna briskly, his strides hard to follow.

Anna gnashed her teeth. Yoh Asakura turned his back on her again and she just couldn't spoil the moment. This was the only moment she can ever speak all her complaints to him.

Pouring all her courage to her mouth for the last time, she shrieked, "STOP!" She started to whimper and shook herself in hopes of releasing the ache residing in her heart. Yoh stopped and was quite surprised with what he heard. Out of the blue, he didn't notice Anna running towards him with a determined look. She launched at him and had him flat on the ground with her on top. She grabbed his shirt and gritted her teeth angrily at him, her glares showed that she was really mad.

"You're crazy Anna," Yoh widened his eyes, bewildered.

"I know that!" she cried. More tears fell from her eyes and each dropped silently on Yoh's face. Vigorously, she seemed to be challenging Yoh to a fight when she started pulling his shirt and almost strangled him. Yoh on the other hand did not fight back, he could only look in awe.

"WHY DON'T YOU TRY TO KILL ME NOW!" Anna began to punch Yoh's chest. Yoh flinched a little but it was not enough to take his life away. "WHY DON'T YOU LASH MY THROAT NOW!"

Anna cried and wailed then stopped yet her crystalline tears did come to a halt. They dropped down continuously as if she hasn't cried in her whole life. And surprisingly, the heaven seemed to get along with her grief, a moment later big droplets of water descended from the skies. The sky darkened, ironic since the weathermen didn't announce on TV that there'll be a rain shower today.

"You wanna know why I wanted a fiancée! You want know! DO YOU REALLY WANT TO KNOW!"

"Anna," Yoh began, "stop doing this. We're getting soaked."

Raising her right hand, Anna slapped Yoh on his right cheek. "NO! HELL! You're the one who has to stop and listen to me right now! I've been listening to you for so long and been following your every move that you weren't able to ask me if I'm even OK!" Anna insisted.

"Ann-"

"I WANTED A FIANCEE SO I CAN GET THE HELL OUT OF YOUR LIFE!" she screamed and rendered Yoh speechless. "Is it now clear to you? Am I still selfish? Am I still self-absorbed?"

"I never knew what you wanted but stop being like this!" Yoh demanded and hoisted the two of them to a sitting position but with Anna still clinging on his arms. "If you really want a fiancée then you can have him as long as I found one, I'm not yours, and you're not mine either, so you can have anybody for as long as you like him."

Anna silenced herself and carefully understand what Yoh meant, pieces by pieces. 'He does not love me nor does he care for me.' She stood up, feeling all the courage she had kept inside her vanished into thin air. Her eyes were as round as saucers as she managed to run away from the shame she has bestowed upon herself. She has been weak in front of him again. The shaman rose from his position too and watched Anna's slow retreating figure.

Both of them were soaked but he didn't mind, Anna didn't worry about it either. But there was something in Yoh Asakura that silenced him all the time.

He smiled a bit, between those tears tempting to fall from his eyes, he managed to raise his lips into a smile.

"I didn't know you actually love me," he whispered, silently yet there was an ounce of happiness in his voice. "I just felt it, but I'm positively sure…Anna."

Before he never understood, but now he was aware of the fact that Anna loves him but does he love her back? There's only one way to find out, read and review the following chapters to know what is what. As you can clearly see, I can kill Anna if I want right? Only joking…

Author's Notes: There you have it the fourth chapter of Nostalgic Affection written in such a haste that I won't be able to reread it for mistakes! I'm sorry for the crappiness of this chapter and the length which is incredibly short, for me at least. Comments? Suggestions? Please review! I'd really appreciate it if you do! Thank you for supporting this fic!

Gtg now, still have to study my report in Advanced Biology which is monoclonal antibodies or else Mam Panotes will kill me! Waaah…pagod na rin ako Yoh! (I'm tired too Yoh!) hehe…

With a new pen name,
shackled wisteria