A/N: Okay, this is probably the fic I'll be working on the most since it has been under construction for a good few years. Anyway read, and review!

Disclaimer: I do not own Princess Mononoke or any of the other characters that might make an appearance in this story.

Ch.1- Nightmares

It was just another boring day behind the walls of New Iron Town. Well…boring for Ashitaka anyway.

He had helped rebuild the entire town from scratch. Correction, he had rebuilt the entire town from scratch. It was getting to the point where he could build a house in his sleep! Needless to say, the ability to make houses in his sleep had put quite an impressive number of villagers in homes.

Thankfully, Toki had taken note of this and had come up with a solution.

"Ashitaka," she called as she opened the front door to his small hut-like house, "what're you up to?"

"Well, aside from removing the thousandth splinter from my hand, nothing much!" he said exasperatedly, while swinging his hands around angrily. Then he continued, "Look, see here, this one's not even wood!" As if to prove his point, he plucked the little sliver of whatever it was out of his hand, and threw it to the floor where it made an extremely loud Clunk!

On further examination of Ashitaka's hands, she noticed that there were indeed several little holes from where the splinters had been, and each was oozing droplets of blood.

"I swear, these things are worse than the damn bullet gunshot wound!" he shouted hysterically while gesturing towards his abdomen.

"Well," started Toki while laughing softly, "I come bearing good news!"

Ashitaka's head rose slightly with interest.

"I talked to Lady Eboshi and she agreed to let you go visit San!"

"Well that's good news considering the fact that I was about to quit working and tell the villagers to build their homes by their own damn selves, but I wasn't aware that I had to have Eboshi's permission to go anywhere." Said Ashitaka glaring slightly.

"No!" said Toki, "What I meant when I said she agreed was that she agreed with me that you could use a little bit of excitement in your life, aside from building all of the villagers houses of course. If you know what I mean!" she finished with a very big wink.

Ashitaka blushed a deep shade of crimson with embarrassment at the thought.

"Shame on you Ashitaka!" shouted Toki in a falsely scandalized voice. "I meant for you to go hunting or whatever it is you do with her while you're there, you naughty boy!"

"I am not a naughty boy," said Ashitaka in a very small voice, "you're the one who said it like that!"

Toki burst out laughing. "Well I just thought I'd tell you. Should we expect you back at all today?"

"Yeah, unless something unexpected happens." Ashitaka replied.

"Yeah, like you get San pregnant." Muttered Toki softly as she left.

"I heard that!" shouted Ashitaka.

Toki just laughed.

As he absent-mindedly opened the pen behind his hut to let Yakkul out, Ashitaka had his mind on one thing and one thing only. San.

She hadn't left his mind ever since the death of the Forest Spirit a year ago, and things didn't look like they were going to change very soon.

Over the year the two had grown closer, and yet they were just as far apart as when they had first met. It was San mostly, but it was a little of himself as well. Ashitaka knew that it would be almost impossible to get to the "couple" stage due to the fact that she was raised in the wild and was foreign to human emotions, or so she thought.

However, Ashitaka wasn't exactly a forward guy. He was shy; that had been why he hadn't made a lot more visits to the forest. He didn't know what to say to her at times, and he felt that, San being as open as she was about her opinions, that was the reason she was still hesitant with him.

He and Yakkul were halfway there, only about fifty kilometers away now, when his attention was drawn to a faint glimmer in the still distant forest. 'What the…what was that?' he thought to himself.

He continued on toward the forest as he pondered on the glimmer.

As he entered the forest, he found the source of the glimmer. It was blood.

'It was just an animal or something.' He thought to himself, however he could not shake the sense of foreboding that had captured him since he caught sight of the substance.

Shaking his head vigorously, Ashitaka urged Yakkul on to keep himself distracted.

After ten minutes or so, Ashitaka came upon the cave at which San and her friends took up residence.

"San! It's me! Where are you?" he shouted into the cave. No answer. An eerie sense of dread overtook him. "San!" Ashitaka called urgently where are you!" After this he ran into the cave and looked around himself. He looked towards the back of the cave and stopped dead in his tracks.

It was Mune and Nuke, San's two older brothers. They were dead.

This wasn't a guess it was a fact. There was a dark pool of crimson liquid that surrounded the two brothers.

"Mune…Nuke…what happened?" he whispered in a soft voice.

Then terror gripped his heart as he realized the possibility that that blood at the edge of the forest was San's hit him full force.

'Please no.'

Ashitaka sped out of the cave as fast as his legs would let him. Past Yakkul, past the staring Kodama, and past all the other life forms that happened to be there at that moment.

He knew where she was. There was no doubt about it. She was at the pool of the Forest Spirit.

After five minutes of all out sprinting, Ashitaka burst through the bushes and trees into the clearing he had been left on only a year ago. And there, sleeping peacefully on her side was San.

"Thank god she's alright!" Ashitaka sighed with relief making his way over toward her and gently rubbing her shoulder in an effort to get her to wake up. "San," he whispered, "Wake up, it's Ashitaka." She didn't move. "Well, I didn't want to have to do this but you leave me no choice!" he said in a playfully somber voice.

He was going to roll her into the lake. Was being the key word. When he rolled her onto her side to face him, he noticed the blood.

Dripping from a sizeable wound on her abdomen the substance was slowing to a halt albeit to late.

"SAN!" Ashitaka shouted in a scared voice. "SAN, NO PLEASE NO!"

That was all that he got out before he fell unconscious on the ground next to her.

Well, there's chapter one! How do ya'll like it? Please R&R! Comments always welcome as well! 'Til next time, laterz!