A/N: Er...I slept too much. I was probably delirious from fever. (this was weeks ago...yet now I'm sick again...) Anyway, I dreamt a dream that implanted a plot bunny in my head. Below is my attempt at a one-shot based on romance...it's Valentine's Day, after all! (though this fic has nothing to do with Valentine's Day...just romance)
Summary: For them, Yoh was the most important person in their lives. But to Yoh, they weren't most important. His words "Stop being a lovesick fool" was the wake up call from her dreams. Slight TxR one-shot
Disclaimer: Shaman King belongs to its rightful owners, which does not include me.
The pink-haired girl bit her lips as she looked at herself in the mirror out of the corner of her eye. She didn't want to look at the mirror directly, since that would feel awkward. Nevertheless, she tried to sneak a few peeks at the mirror to try to manage her hair. She gave her hair a final pat before she turned away from the mirror altogether.
Yoh-sama was coming today.
Even though there was no one around her, Tamamura Tamao lowered her eyes as a blush spread over her face and her heartbeat quickened. She shuffled down the hallway quickly and quietly, eager to reach the front. She hadn't seen Yoh-sama since the last time he came to Izumo with Anna-sama.
At the thought of the blond-haired girl, the pink-haired girl slowed down her steps.
Anna-sama was so perfect. She was so pretty and strong. It was no wonder that she was Yoh-sama's fiancée. Even Tamao herself admired Anna-sama. She was no competition for her. If only she were more like Anna-sama...then maybe Yoh-sama would spare her a glance.
Tamao sighed as tried to smooth out her white shirt.
It was no use stressing over Anna-sama's perfection. She would never be like Anna-sama, not with her clumsiness and slow thinking. Who would ever like a girl who was constantly being made fun of by her own spirits?
Certainly not Yoh-sama...
...but she could dream at least.
It was her fantasy.
His orange headphones gleamed in the sunshine. The boy slowly reached for her hands, holding them in his own."Tamao...I..."
The pink-haired girl blushed, focusing her attention on their entwined hands. Was her dream finally coming true? Was this-
"Yoh, don't forget that you have to make dinner today."
Tamao blinked. Ehhh? A-Anna-sama? Where did her voice come from?
Yoh grinned sheepishly as he retracted his hands from her.
"Ah, sorry, what was I going to say? Anyway, I have to go now, or Anna's going to kill me."
The boy turned around, hurrying home to make dinner.
When his hands slipped away, Tamao stared at her empty hands dumbly before looking up quickly and reaching out.
"Wait! Don't leave-"
Her ears twitched slightly when she heard approaching footsteps. She opened her eyes and found herself resting her head on her arms against a cold wooden chair. She raised her head and shook out the tingling feeling in her arms.
She then rubbed her blurry eyes.
When had she fallen asleep?
She looked around.
It was still daylight.
It was but a mere daydream.
She sighed. It hadn't been the best dream ever, but at least Yoh-sama had noticed her existence. But even in her dreams, Anna-sama was always there. Anna-sama was always the most important to Yoh-sama. In real life and in her dreams.
Did that mean that her subconscious had already accepted that as a fact?
The footsteps were getting louder. Tamao quickly stood up, wincing when another tingle ran through her legs. That should teach herself not to fall asleep in such uncomfortable positions.
She hurried towards the door, limping every few steps. Was she going to make it to the door to welcome him? She had to make it!
When the front door came into view, she felt relief flood through her body. She quickly steadied herself and waited for the door to open.
The door creaked open.
"Ano...Yo-Yoh-sama, we-welco-" Tamao didn't even finish stuttering through her sentence. The boy of her dreams had already entered, smiled at her briefly before walking off towards the main house. With Anna-sama right next to him.
Tamao turned away from the door, willing herself not to feel disappointed. She had already known that was going to happen. She was about to follow them when a sharp voice cut into her thoughts.
"Stop being a lovesick fool."
The pink-haired girl's eyes widened. Her hand started trembling. Was she a lovesick fool? Was it wrong to admire someone from afar? Her entire frame shook. How could he say that to her? How could he ever understand her feelings?
She turned around, her face red with embarrassment and fury.
Her words died on her lips when she was greeted by the sight of Yoh's purple-haired friend. His golden eyes gleamed at her, challengingly, though his lips were twitching into a smile.
"That's more like it. If you really want to get noticed, you should get rid of your shyness first."
Tamao blinked as Tao Ren walked past her.
She lowered her head once again, a blush spreading over her face.
His one sentence had made her throw all of her usual shyness away. That had been entirely out of character for her.
How in the world did he do that?
"...yes, we're going to have to..."
"I think that will work..."
Tamao stared at an invisible spot on the ground as Anna-sama and the others talked around her. Only bits and pieces of the conversation were registering on her mind, but the general topic of the conversation had entirely escaped her attention.
She had no idea what the conversation was about, and frankly, it didn't matter to her.
Every so often, she sneaked a few looks at Yoh-sama before guiltily looking down again. She was trying to sneak another peak when her eyes crossed golden ones instead.
Tamao jerked her head down, refusing to let her mind linger on those golden eyes any longer.
Tamao watched as Anna-sama and Yoh-sama headed out for a walk. Yoh-sama had tried to grab Anna-sama's hand, while the latter had slapped his hand away. They had bickered all throughout their walk to the front door. Tamao did notice, however, that right when they thought no one could see them anymore, Anna-sama had shyly taken Yoh-sama's hand.
The bickering stopped immediately.
Tamao glanced at her empty hands, closing them and then opening them over and over.
She sighed, turning around.
She quickly covered her mouth at the exclamation that had escaped her lips.
When had he approached her from behind?
The golden-eyed boy raised an eyebrow before walking around her.
"What were you looking at so intently for?" he asked as he peered outside.
"No-nothing," stammered Tamao. She glanced at him from the side, quickly looking away when he turned around to look at her.
His "I-know-you-aren't-telling-the-truth" look made Tamao fidget uncomfortably. She tried her best to avoid looking at him and getting pinned with that look.
She somehow got the point across that she wasn't going to elaborate on her answer, for he changed the topic. However, Tamao had no idea why he was asking her that.
"Care for a little sparring match?"
Her eyes widened. Her? Fight with Tao Ren? The very thought was absurd.
"Come on, it's better than just standing there and gawking."
Tamao blinked this time. Gawking? When had she been gawking?
When Tao Ren exited the room, Tamao followed him. Whatever she had been doing, she had not been gawking.
But of course, Tamao's frustration over Ren's words faded as quickly as candles went out on a windy day. When she found herself standing underneath the open sky facing one of the strongest shamans she knew, she wondered what had possibly possessed her to accept his suggestion.
"Here I come," murmured the boy.
Tamao's eyes widened.
Ren's oversoul with Bason was so perfect. Bason merged with Ren's chosen medium so seamlessly that she didn't even realize when it happened. They must have spent hours practicing with each other, just like how Yoh-sama practiced so much with Amidamaru. She willed herself to stop wondering, to start moving instead. She felt rooted to the spot.
She was pitiful when compared to them. Her two spirits didn't even respect her.
"Tamao, duck!" yelled Konchi in her ear.
Without thinking, Tamao ducked down as fast as she could. On later thought, she hoped that Konchi wasn't playing a trick on her.
When she felt her hair stand up from the wind that Ren's swing created, she was glad that Konchi had been serious for once. Her two spirits hovered around her, their faces scrunched into a nasty jeer at the Chinese boy.
"Can't you take it easy on an weak little girl?" yelled Ponchi.
Tamao didn't know whether to feel insulted that her spirits thought so little of her or whether to feel grateful for their concern. She glanced at her opponent, who had one eyebrow raised at Ponchi's words. She hastily stood up, embarrassed.
"Don't worry, I'm holding back," replied Ren finally.
Tamao bit her lips, a sudden iciness coursing through her. He was holding back on her? She knew that she wasn't much of a challenge for him, but he had been the one who suggested the match the first place! And he was holding back, even telling her that he was. She couldn't accept that.
They turned towards her, surprised that she was going to fight back. Ignoring their disbelieving looks, she held out her hands and watched as they transformed into a bow and an arrow, both bearing heart shapes.
She grabbed the bow, watching the shimmering energy that surrounded it. This was no normal bow. This was her spirit companion, someone who she should be able to power up through her shamanic powers. The same went with the arrow.
Ren watched her without a word, smirking when she finally turned towards him.
"Eto...here I come," whispered Tamao.
Her timid disposition quickly dissolved into one of determination. She had on a similar expression when she had been trying to chase Ryu and Manta away from Izumo, thinking that they had been enemies of Yoh-sama. She cleared her head. This was no time to be thinking about past mistakes.
Ren dashed forward once again. Tamao tried not to panic as she notched her arrow and took a shot. Her aim was off. The arrow fell short even though she tried willing it to go farther. Once the arrow hit the ground, it disappeared and returned back to her hand. She quickly pulled the bowstring back, about to fire again.
A flash of purple appeared in front of her, whispering, "Too slow."
She felt herself being blown backwards. She had thrown out her arms on a whim to block the brunt of the damage. Nevertheless, she skidded backwards at least fifteen feet, leaving trails of dirt in front of her where the grass had been damaged. Clouds of debris drifted up, obscuring her view of her surroundings.
Now she was unsure whether he was taking it easy on her or not. She suddenly felt that she was really going to regret ever having this match, considering the bruises and soreness that she was bound to have upon waking up the next day.
When she righted herself, she took an unsteady step forward. The debris was slowly clearing, and she could make out Ren's figure in the dust. She raised her bow, her arms shaking as she did so. With great effort, she prepared to shoot.
However, Ren felt her intentions, dodging quickly to the right. He was quickly approaching her again. Tamao stumbled as she turned around, accidentally letting go of her bowstring without meaning to. The arrow flew out, straight and true. A small cry of pain caused Tamao's eyes to widen. She quickly ran towards the sound.
Her arrow had pierced his left arm. She willed her spirits to return to normal, and instantly, the bow and arrow disappeared, leaving Ren with a nasty wound minus the arrow that had been protruding out of his arm.
"I'm sorry!" stammered Tamao.
Ren gave her a wave, dismissing her apology. "I was too careless," he added, as if those few words alone explained everything.
As Tamao tried to bandage his wound, her mouth started moving on its on accord.
"I bet you didn't think you were in any danger from a weak little girl." She shut her mouth abruptly, wondering what had possessed her to say that.
Ren rolled his eyes. "Excuse me, but I wasn't the one who said, I quote, 'a weak little girl'."
"I-" She stopped, unable to say anything against him. She looked away quickly, her cheeks coloring slightly. She blushed way too easily for her own good.
"Why did you ask me for a sparring match?" she asked instead as she fought down her blush.
He blinked, tilting his head to the side. She couldn't help but notice how his dark wisps of hair fell to the side, making his piercing golden eyes even sharper.
When Tamao thought that he wasn't going to answer her question, he quietly replied, "I...don't know."
Surprised, Tamao finished tightening the cloth, turning his words over in her head before speaking.
"I thought that you were always sure of yourself." Unlike her, who was always fretting and feeling intimidated.
Ren frowned. "I wish! Wouldn't that be nice? But, one can't help but feel unsure sometimes, especially when that source of uncertainty is caused partly by...Yoh," finished Ren somewhat hesitantly.
Tamao looked at him sharply.
Golden eyes tinted with slight exasperation stared her down, as if implying "you heard me, don't make me repeat all that embarrassing stuff that I said!" Instead of saying those words, however, Ren pinned her with a question she would rather avoid."Why are you so infatuated with Yoh?"
Tamao bit her lips. Why did he want to know? It wasn't any of his business...and what she felt for Yoh-sama certainly wasn't just infatuation. Instead of answering, she threw his question back at him.
"I can ask the same of you. Why are you infatuated with Yoh?" She had intended the question to be a sharp retort, but it came out more like a quiet whisper.
Ren ignored the question as he retracted his now bandaged arm from her, moving it about experimentally. He glanced towards the front of the courtyard in the direction Yoh had left in earlier. He then stared back at his bandaged arm, placing his hand over it carefully.
"It might take a while, but it'll be okay."She watched him get up and head inside, wondering if he had been referring to his arm...or something else.
When Yoh-sama and Anna-sama returned that night, they had asked Ren about his bandaged arm. The Chinese boy had shrugged it off, saying that it was nothing.
She was worried. A few days had passed since their sparring match, and everyday, she found that her eyes drifted towards him unintentionally. She didn't want to be noticing him instead of Yoh-sama. It didn't feel right.
Yoh, however, didn't seem to see anything out of the ordinary as he served himself seconds. Soon after he finished lunch, he headed out with Anna-sama for a walk around the cemetery. It wasn't an ideal spot for a date, but Tamao knew that it was valid place for them to spend time alone.
She froze when she realized that she was alone with him.
Well, technically, they weren't alone. Not if they counted their spirits. But still, she was beyond worried.
When Ren went out to practice with Bason, Tamao began fretting. Had his wound even healed enough for him to be training? She followed him outside, her earlier worry of being alone with him flying out of her mind.
"Aren't you straining yourself a bit?" blurted Tamao the moment she laid eyes on him.
Ren continued practicing his moves without stopping or glancing her way, only muttering a quick "No."
Tamao knew that he was lying, because the bandage was becoming stained with dark, crimson red. Without thinking, she rushed over to him to make him stop moving so much.
He couldn't stop fast enough, but when he saw Tamao appear next to him, he instantly let go of his hold on his oversoul, letting it dissolve completely as she crashed into him.
"Damn it! Do you want to get hurt?" yelled Ren.
Tamao cringed but refused to give in. "You're hurt. I had to stop you."
Ren closed his mouth, swallowing his next words.
She wondered what he had been about to say.Finally he whispered, "I deserve to be hurt. But not you." As those words left his mouth, he quickly averted his eyes. Tamao blinked, wondering if her eyes were playing tricks on her. Was Tao Ren actually blushing?
She, in turn, was suddenly conscious of the fact that she had thrown herself at him and was still lying on top of him. This was certainly the prime time for herself to be blushing as if there were no tomorrow. She felt her own wild blush warm her face.
Oddly though, she didn't try to remove herself from her current position either. Even when Ren moved to sit up, she just let him shift positions until they were sitting. She was still leaning on him. And he didn't say anything against it.
It was comforting.
It was a big party in celebration of Yoh-sama and Anna-sama's wedding. Yoh-sama had chosen Ren as his best man. Tamao was dressed in white, Anna-sama's maid of honor. She was happy that Anna-sama had asked her, yet at the same time, she was sad that she had to watch them get married. She WAS happy for them, but she couldn't help that feeling of despair that she wasn't the one Yoh-sama was marrying.
It had been her dream since childhood...to marry Yoh-sama.
She watched as Yoh-sama held Anna-sama's hands and pulled her into a sweet kiss. The audience cheered at the scene, making Yoh-sama grin. Her heart clenched, hurt that she was only a bystander.
wished that someone would notice her, someone who would look at
her with as much love as Yoh-sama held in his eyes for Anna-sama. She
wished that someone would hold her hands, letting her know that she
a sudden jolt, she wondered if that was why she was so...infatuated
with Yoh-sama. Yoh-sama's love for Anna-sama was written all over his face.
She wished someone would love her like that. Was what she felt really just infatuation?
It had been her dream since childhood to marry Yoh-sama, but maybe it was time for her to...
Drowsily, she cracked upon one of her eyes and was met with breathtakingly golden ones. She must have forgotten how to breathe as she drowned in those golden eyes.
She had just blanked out, daydreaming, hadn't she?
The Chinese boy looked at her amusedly.
"You know, you could get off of me by now."
Tamao felt heat rise up to her face as she scrambled to get up. When she was almost tugged down again, she discovered that they were actually holding hands. His hands fit around hers so snugly that she almost didn't want to let go. She found herself staring at their entwined hands.
She probably wouldn't have let go if it wasn't because of Yoh-sama and Anna-sama's voice drifting over from around the corner. Actually, she didn't let go even when she heard Yoh-sama's voice. It was Ren who slipped his hand out of hers.
She watched as Ren got up, dusting himself off. Her eyes trailed after him as he made his way towards the house.
She had been chasing after an impossible dream all these years...wanting to be noticed and loved only by Yoh-sama, who was clearly out of her reach. Yoh-sama had always been the most important person to her. She always placed him before everyone else, and she centered her every action around him. Yet she clearly wasn't the most important person to Yoh-sama. Not even close.
She bit her lips as she stared at her empty hands, imagining the warmth that she had felt when Ren had been holding them. It had felt so comforting and reassuring.
Ren had been chasing after a dream similar to hers, hadn't he? He wanted to be noticed and acknowledged by Yoh-sama as his strongest rival...yet Ren was never able to attain that position, not since Hao's appearance.
Ren had said that it would take awhile until everything became all right...
Had he intended to reassure her...or had he been trying to reassure himself?
No matter what his intentions had been, Tamao felt grateful for his words. The disappointment that she had felt from watching Yoh-sama and Anna-sama had dissolved away without her noticing it.
It was time for her to wake up.No...
It was time for both of them to wake up.
A/N: Ugh...horrible. I tried really hard to keep this to a one-shot...it was really challenging. (is shocked) I guess I'm really horrible at being concise in what I want to convey. (frowns) This one-shot just kept getting longer and longer...
Well, I hope you enjoyed it anyway. And Happy Valentine's Day! Please leave some feedback, ne?