Yes, everyone, welcome to the final chapter of A Girl Called Anna. It drained the last breath out of me and I feel. . .well, basically. . .drained. Here this one is, everyone! Before I start off, let me give a hearty congratulation to jan-i-am for correctly guessing the. . .erm. . .facts, about Sumiko. Well done! Haha. Looks like I have a lot to learn. Well, take a deep breath, have a moment of silence, and be prepared to read the finale, chapter 25 of ' A Girl Called Anna.'

CHAPTER 25 (FINALE)

" So what have you got?" Jeanne asked Anna curiously, who wearily but confidently sat back down in her chair in the library, quickly attended to by an anxious Jeanne and Lyserg. " Not so bad for a day's work." Anna said tiredly. " I read through about twenty memories, and I think I have a rough understanding on what's going on. However," she added, as Lyserg opened his mouth to interrupt. " I still can't find out what Hao Asakura is thinking. He can be helping Yoh at one moment and be planning against him in the other. It's sheer madness."

Jeanne rubbed her chin thoughtfully.

" Well, surely you have some leads?" Lyserg asked Anna pointedly.

" Oh, I have leads, but they certainly bring me nowhere." Anna said wirily. " It's like trying to find the end of a road strip." she sighed again before sitting upright. " Now please leave me be, the two of you. I need to contemplate on this alone."

" You sure you don't need my help?" Jeanne said.

" You don't think I can do this on my own?" Anna asked quietly.

" N. . .No!" Jeanne said, flustered. " Well, me and Lyserg will be over there by the counter. . ."

Anna nodded at them as they made their way off before rubbing her chin thoughtfully. It started off with Hao offering Yoh help. What was his plan there? Surely he would not have wanted her and Yoh to be together whole-heartedly; based on Hao's skills inside the night club, he could have gotten them together as quickly as day. Another thing that puzzled her was why he had bothered to cover up for Yoh at the night club when he was hitting on some random girl at the end of the bar. Was he using reverse psychology?

" Surely you jest." Anna muttered under her breath.

" I didn't tell a joke." came a cheerful voice behind her, sitting down on the chair beside her.

Without even looking up, she sighed. " Hello, Yoh." she said.

" Hi." he said. " What are you doing inside on such a beautiful day? I would have thought you wanted to hang out in the school garden or something. I was even ready to pay some people to clear off the area so we could enjoy the comfortable breeze."

" I bet that's not all you wanted." Anna said, smirking at him.

" Well, I'm not saying I didn't have something else in mind." he said, grinning back at her, placing his hands gently on her shoulders. " But clearly you had something on your mind to put yourself here. What are you scribbling on that piece of paper?" he asked, glancing at the sheet for a moment, answering his own answer just as quickly. " Hao." he muttered. " I didn't think you were serious when you told me you were going to ask Jeanne to borrow Shamash for the day."

" Well, I was." Anna said pointedly. " By the way, did you mail out every single one of the invitation letters? We need them to receive it before seven; that's when the party begins."

" Relax," Yoh said reassuringly. " Amidamaru and the other spirits visited all the houses with the people that were invited and told me that they all received them. Am I right?" he asked the samurai that was bobbing up and down by his shoulder, and the swordsman nodded at Anna feverishly. Anna nodded back, satisfied, and returned to her paperwork. It was about a minute later when she was about to ask Yoh why he had suddenly become so strangely quiet when she felt his fingers brush against her inner thigh, and she glared at him warningly.

" What?" he said in a loud whisper. " Ren did it before!"

" To you?" Anna said sarcastically. " And it felt so good you wanted to pass it on?"

" No, to Pirika!" he said indignantly. " He said she enjoyed it a lot, and well, I wanted to try it out too!"

" You're mental." Anna whispered. " Lyserg and Jeanne are just a few tables away!"

" And there's two schoolgirls right behind us." Yoh said, his lips twitching.

" You're insane!" she whispered urgently. " Stop it right now before I slap you across the head!"

" Just remember one thing," Ren had told him pointedly, as Yoh chewed his lip hesitantly. " No matter what she says, just go all the way. Remember this. . .she wants it as much as you. Always keep that in mind, and you can do no wrong."

" Alright then," he whispered, hoping he sounded much more confident than he felt; he never thought he would be this nervous in his life. His first two fingers pushed aside her underwear while his middle finger delved into her and she let out a suppressed whimper. " Stop me."

She aimed a glare at him but all she got was a caring smile that almost sent her to the edge. " Still not going to scream out my name?" he whispered into her ear as he slid another finger into her, instilling a moan from her lips. " I don't mind if you do it now, you know. I don't think anyone here would mind, to think of it."

" I. . .won't. . ." she breathed, her eyes fluttering, her hands clenched on the hem of her skirt.

" Won't what, my love?" he whispered, caressing her inner thighs with his free hand. " Do be more specific."

God, Anna didn't know why Yoh needed lessons from Hao in the first place. He was already almost as cocky as he was. She had to remind herself to tell this to Yoh later on. Yoh's lips twitched as he noticed her quivering legs desperately trying to prevent themselves from clamping over his clever fingers and he slowly lifted his hand up to stroke her cheek as the other continued its action. Her lips trembled and she still refused to make eye contact with him, biting down hard on her lip as he delved a third finger into her with a quick thrusting action.

A few tables away from them, two school boys looked at Yoh admiringly. With Yoh's fingers and Anna's legs out of sight they clearly had no idea what was going on down there, and just gazed at Yoh with respect. " Check out that guy." one muttered. " He's able to make her tremble in his arms just by touching her cheek."

" That's respect right there." the other said feverishly.

Anna clenched her teeth and looked down at her hasty scribbles of notes on the table, her face slowly becoming glassy-eyed. She was making soft pants under her breath as Yoh's fingers pumped inside her quicker and quicker now, and whenever she felt a jolt surge through her body she would let out a small gasp of shock and pleasure.

Yoh was curious to know just how far she would let him go. His pants were becoming incredibly tight at the mere sight of her, and it was taking everything inside him to stop himself from just ripping off his clothes and joining her as one. He was about to jump in for the kill when her hand grabbed his hand and pulled him out of her; he let out a moan of protest. " Not now." she whimpered. " Please."

He looked at her rather sulkily before propping up a book before him so he could bring his wet fingers to his lips. His eyes never leaving hers, he slowly licked the cum off his fingers, and she let out an involuntary shudder. " God, you taste delicious." he muttered, and she blushed to the roots of her hair. It was a moment later when she suddenly thought of something. Yoh was actually pretty smooth with the ladies when he wanted to. He just proved to her, anyway. From the memories Hao did not do any such lessons of the sort; to tell the truth, all of his lessons were totally useless to Yoh. She was sure he knew Yoh had this inside him. Why did he. . .?

" You alright?" Yoh asked her, wiping his hand on his pants.

" Yeah." she said, snapping out of her reverie. " Are you sure Ren did that to Pirika in the library?"

" No, actually." Yoh admitted. " During Math Class."

" Really?" Anna said incredulously. " I was sitting right next to them!"

" Amazing." Yoh said. " I was right next to you."

Silence.

" I can't believe I almost made you come right before everyone." Yoh said jokingly, and she glared at him menacingly. " I wonder what sort of sounds you would have made?"

" Well, you're certainly a confident piece of shit." she said maliciously.

" Yeah, well, I almost made a goddess fall into ecstacy." he said, smiling at her.

" Hmph." she muttered, her face burning. It was at that moment when she had an idea. She looked under the table; there was a board before it, which meant nobody could see her if she was inside, bending down. . .She grinned at him before stepping down below the table, ducking beneath it. He raised his eyebrows. " Hey, Anna, what are you. . ." he started, before gasping as he felt her hands on his pants buckle. Grabbing the nearest book to him, he pulled it before his face just in time before he moaned out loud as she pushed his pants off his legs, the constriction inside it breathing in to the cool air of the surroundings. It was that moment when Manta, Tao Ren and Horo Horo chose the worst moment in the world to make their entrance. He could almost feel the smile on Anna's face as she pulled down his boxers and he let out an appreciative groan.

" Hey, Yoh." Manta said cheerfully. " Free to chat?"

" If it's quick," Yoh muttered, wincing as Anna placed small butterfly kisses on his throbbing crotch.

" Well, we know that you already invited us over to the party, but there's something else that we wanted to suggest to you." Ren said, scratching the back of his neck uncomfortably.

" Oh?" Yoh breathed, as Anna pressed her lips gingerly over the lip of his crotch.

" Well, since Anna isn't here, I thought it would be a good opportunity to pop in the question before she has time to say no," Horo said cheekily, and Yoh winced as Anna bit into his member slightly at the sudden mention of her name. He was sincerely glad of the book before him, as he was much less able to hide his emotions from the crowd than Anna was. It was at this moment when he felt sorry for Anna for him being such an ass previously, and admired her for being able to hold it all in. " We were hoping you could let our parents also come."

At that moment, Anna brought his entire member into her open mouth, and he jumped.

" Whoa!" he yelped.

" What?" Ren asked, him, as the others stepped back.

" But if you don't want to, then it's okay," Horo said hurriedly at Yoh's unexpected reaction. " I could just tell my dad to ride back to shore, it's alright. He's used to abandoned voyages, and he would perfectly understand your plight. . ."

" No, it's not that," Yoh groaned into the book before him as Anna started to make feverish movements with her mouth, forcing him to lose control. " I don't mind. . .in the. . .least. Do. . .what you want. Anything."

" You sure?" Manta asked uncomfortably. " Because you seem flustered about it."

" I'm fine." Yoh panted, as Anna started licking and nibbling and sucking on him furiously at him now. " Is there anything else you wanted to ask me?"

" Yeah," Ren said, his eyebrows raised now. " Ryu said something about bringing beer to the party. You want to barr him against it or something?"

" Ask. . .Anna. . .about this. . ." Yoh muttered, and Anna let a soft chuckle, stroking him softly, purring deeply. He groaned, his legs shaking, feeling his moment coming soon.

She, apparently, sensed it too.

Her fingers danced lazily on his member which seemed like nothing gentle; it was more like a tiger smiling at you before biting your head off. He certainly hoped Anna wasn't planning on biting his off, if you know what I mean. Ren, Horo and Manta gave each other one last confused glance before shrugging, and walked out of the library, leaving Yoh alone on the table, breathless and forlorn.

" You're going to pay for that," he said to the table menacingly.

" Aww. . .do you want me to stop?" came her soft, playful voice.

" I. . ." he started, before groaning as her tongue, lips, teeth, mouth and hands worked in careful co-ordination, bringing him pleasure beyond recognition, and it was merely seconds later when he she pulled his member out of her mouth, and he came all over the blocked library floor, gasping and moaning for breath behind his book. It was a few minutes later when Anna emerged from underneath the table, propping her hands loungily on her chin, smiling lovingly at him. " Hi, honey."

" Hello." he said venomously.

Silence.

" Come on, you have to admit you liked it." Anna said, smirking.

He sighed and pressed a small kiss on her cheek. " Yeah, I did." he said, and her lips twitched. " But I'm warning you. . .I'm going to make you scream out my name by the end of tonight."

She smiled and pulled away, drawing away from her chair, grinning.

" I'll love to see you try." she whispered.

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It was in the middle of class when Hao suddenly heard his phone ring. He pulled it out of his pocket and took a quick glance at the Caller ID, and blinked. " Opacho," he muttered. " I wonder what he could possibly want with me now?" He took a quick look around the class before leaning down in his chair so the teacher in front could not see him. He pulled the phone to his cheek. " Hello?" he muttered under his breath.

" Hao-sama!" the little boy said to him urgently. " Sumiko's leaving your household today!"

" What?" Hao gasped, and several heads turned around to raise their eyebrows at him. He gave them a sheepish grin before sinking back into his chair. " Is she still there?"

" Yes," Opacho said tearfully. " That Ejio boy came by. . ."

" He's conscious?" Hao said incredulously.

" Yes." Opacho said. " Apparently he got out of his coma a moment ago and he came straight over. Anyway, he came over and they had a really long talk. In the end she told me that she would be packing up and leaving as soon as she was finished with her belongings."

" That's not going to be long, she didn't bring anything with her." Hao snapped. " What time was it when she told you she was leaving?"

" About twelve in the afternoon. Not too long from now."

He looked at his watch.

It was twelve thirty.

" Shit and damn," Hao cursed. " I'm going to hang up now." Hao said to Opacho. " I'll teleport there as soon as I get out of school. . .I'm not allowed to use magic in here. Common policy."

" Hao-sama. . ." Opacho said, chewing on his bottom lip. " Why do this?"

" It's not like I want to, the principal makes me. . ."

" Not that," Opacho said, louder now. " I mean. . .why. . .do you want her to stay?"

Hao paused, his eyes wide.

Why did he want her to stay?

" Hao-sa. . ."

" Don't ask stupid questions," Hao cut in, getting to his feet. " I'll be there as soon as I can." He switched off his phone and was ready to bolt for the door when the teacher called out his name, his eyebrows raised. Hao sighed and turned around to face him. " There's been a family emergency, sensei. May I leave?"

The teacher blinked, looking at Hao for a full, impassive moment before his the corners of his mouth turned upwards into a grin. " Certainly not." the man said, a smirk playing on his lips now. You see, it was every teacher's dream to make Hao's life Hell. It was just that they did not know how, and when they got the rare opportunity to upset him, they very well abused it as much as they could. " Class time will be over in fifteen minutes. Please wait until then. I will excuse you from your next class."

" Isn't next class lunch?" Yoh asked Ren dimly.

Ren rolled his eyes, choosing not to comment.

" Son of a. . ." Hao growled under his breath.

" What was that?" the teacher said, smiling tauntingly at him. " Care to repeat that?"

A hot ripple of anger filled his veins as he took a strong step towards the man, flames started to emert from his fingers, burning holes in the piece of paper he held in one hand. " Please, sir." he said forcefully, straining to keep his voice as polite as possible. " I really need to leave. It's an emergency."

" Oh yes, I'm sure it is." the teacher said, grinning broadly. " That's why I want you to stay put. I'm sure someone that important can wait for you for just fifteen minutes. Besides, I thought you always liked to enter a scene late? Just like in class, to detention or anything else. Like to be in style, don't you?"

Hao's eyes were mulitiuos, and already students aside him were cowering in fear.

Anna, from the other end of the hall, glared at Hao warningly.

" Don't do it," Anna muttered under her breath.

" I. Need. To. Leave." Hao snarled. " If I didn't make myself clear enough, I would like to emphasize it now. I'm getting out of this classroom right now no matter what you say, so you might as well act like you agreed to it. That way you wouldn't have to embarrass yourself in the teacher's lounge again."

" Oh, that's why I hate stuck-up teenagers." the teacher said, the smile totally erased from his face now; it was replaced by a very ugly look. " Think they own the world. Back in my years, when a teacher said something, the students listened."

Hao's hands were shaking so much it seemed like he was in a massage chair. " I bet at that time you also rode a brontosaurs to school, isn't that right?"

The teacher glared at him, and Hao leered straight back, the flames in his hand burning brighter and brighter. The teacher looked at him for a couple more minutes before turning around, his hands in his pockets. " Sit back down on your seat, Asakura." he said. " I will not repeat myself."

" I daresay you might."

Yoh let out an involuntary shiver, let most of the others in the class. It was not usual to see Hao lose his temper; his eyes were in dangerous slits, his hands blazing with fire, and it was then when Hao turned back into what he was when he first entered the school, the true nightmare of a teacher's dream. The teacher was lucky he did not turn around, because he might have screamed as some of the students were doing now. Instead, he said ever so coldly, " Sit down, Asakura. Don't think for one second I would believe your feeble attempt of a lie. I daresay you've got some appointment with a girl out of school? After all, you wouldn't even shed a tear if your own mother died, anyway."

" Shit," Anna muttered, jumping to her feet.

Hao's eyes were livid as he pointed his finger in the direction where the teacher was standing, and out burst a jet of fire, slicing straight in his direction. Several girls screamed as it shot right by them, and it very well seemed like Hao was going to set the teacher on fire when suddenly Anna appeared before him, a hand outstretched, the flames bouncing off her palm. The regular Hao would have seemed amused. But this time he was glaring at Anna with such hatred that she stepped back, almost losing her cool.

" I do not want to kill you, Anna." he said.

" I don't want you in jail either." she answered.

They glared at each other from both ends of the classroom, and it would have gone on for a few more minutes if it were not for Yoro-sensei appearing at the door. " Yes, Yoro! Right on time!" the teacher said, terrified, cowering behind Anna. " Did you see what happened to me? Hao Asakura attacked me!"

" I know." Yoro said coldly. " Hao? May I speak to you for a moment?"

Hao glared at him for a moment before following him out the room, slamming the door behind him. Anna let out the breath she was holding and clenched her fist. " What's gotten into you, Hao?" she muttered under her breath. " What made you lose your temper so easily?"

" You wouldn't have shed a tear if you own mother died, anyway."

Family.

She frowned.

" Very well done, Kyoyuma." the teacher said, patting her on the shoulder. " Now get back to your seat so we can continue the lesson." She nodded to herself, stepping off the stage, her hands clasped together, pointing at the crowd. " Memory. . .erased." she muttered, a soft, dull mist overbearing the students in the hall.

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" That was rash of you." Yoro muttered, walking Hao out the school gates.

" He provoked me." Hao growled.

" That's not a good enough reason. I had to SMS Anna's phone to make her wipe out the memories of over a hundred students in the classroom as soon as I heard about you. What's more, I'm going to have to change everything once I get back to the principal, and. . .argh, damn you, Hao!"

" I'm sorry." Hao muttered.

" No bother." Yoro said. " Just don't do it again, and everything will be fine. Now, go. I can guess you're having a rough day?"

" Yes." Hao said, stepping out of the school, bursting into flames. " Thank you."

With that, he disappeared.

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" You're perfectly sure about this?"

Sumiko turned around to face her brother, who was gazing back at her emotionlessly. She looked at him for a moment before walking off, acting like his question did not matter at all in significance. He sighed and scratched the back of his neck. " Look. . .Kino told me everything." he said, and she stopped in mid-step. Her back still facing him, she sighed. " Is it true that you've fallen for Hao Asakura?" he asked her.

She said nothing, and yet he understood. " The same thing happened not too long ago, didn't it?" he asked. " You fell for the boy who you met while waiting for young Anna to return from her walk."

She stayed quiet before continuing to walk out the door.

" Will you be happy like this?" he asked her.

" I would be happy if you shut your mouth." she said, and stepped into her shoes. He grimaced before walking behind her, looking up at the skies. It was raining. " We don't have to do this, nee-san." he said to her. " Kino said it was not compulsory for us to return, and I quite agree with her. I want you to stay here and be happy."

" When. . ." Sumiko said, finally getting into her shoes and stood up from the floor. " Have you ever seen me happy before?"

He followed her, his feet stepping lightly into his slippers.

" When you're with Hao Asakura." he said.

At that, they stayed motionless, just a few steps from leaving his front door.

There was total silence except for the dull patter of rain on the roof tiles of the apartment. " Let's go." she said quietly.

" Does go mean to leave forever, or to leave momentarily, and return because you felt something behind on purpose and wanted to come back to retrieve it?" he pressed on.

" I didn't leave anything behind."

" Oh, yes you did. You just refuse to admit it."

" The blow on your head did more damage to you than the doctors admitted. You're going for a checkup once we return to Kino's house."

" And you'll look for Faust, who will soon bring you to Hao Asakura."

" Shut up, Ejio."

" You want me silenced because the pain is too deep, am I not wrong?"

" You're incorrect."

" Oh, no I'm not. I know you more than anyone else on the face of this earth. And I know what goes through your mind. You love Hao Asakura, and even as you make your way out his house, your heart is left behind."

" I. . ."

Ejio glanced at her, and yet she still did not turn around. She took a step out of the house, the rain simply bouncing off her shoulders. " I will not repeat myself. Let's go, Ejio."

Ejio sighed and nodded. " Yes, nee-san." he said.

It was at that moment when they shut the door behind them when a figure approached them, and they stopped dead in their tracks. Hao Asakura stood there alone in the rain, his hands in his pockets, his eyes watching the two of them sorrowfully. " Ejio," he said. " I see you're out. How are you feeling?"

" I'm alright, sir." Ejio said.

Hao then turned to Sumiko, who refused to meet his gaze.

" Sumiko. . ." he started.

" As I recall, I don't remember you minding about it much when I told you last night that I would be leaving." she butted in coldly. " Kino found us another place to stay. I thank you for the many days that you allowed us to stay in your place."

" You know I don't bite well on bullshit, Sumiko." he said harshly. " You're going to stay with Kino. That's way too troublesome for an old hag like her. Stay in my place."

She looked up to meet his eyes.

" Why do you want me to stay?"

The words hammered into his head once again.

Why did he want her to stay?

Silence befell them and she sighed, walking past him, her hands in her pockets delicately. Ejio walked behind her, but as he passed Hao, their eyes met for the most brief of moments. Hao's eyes widened as he opened his mouth to speak, but suddenly the scene seemed to fade from his eyes, and replacing Ejio and Sumiko was the child Anna, standing on the end of the road.

Her eyes were cold, and she stared right back at him.

His mouth widened.

A girl stood in the middle of the road, an umbrella in her hand, looking up at the sky in dazed wonderment. There was something distinctly childish about her; yet there was something also utterly magnificent about her. She was like a frosted ice maiden; pale and unblemished, not suitable to be touched. He took an obvious step towards her, and her gaze fell onto his. Immediately he could feel an unnamed air dispersing around her, and despite how strong he already was at that age, he could not help but feel a slight bit of fear for this child.

" Who. . .are you?" he questioned.

The girl gazed up at him, and took a careful step towards him.

" Strayed away from your mother?" he asked kindly, almost to an extent of mocking.

She did not answer, but continued to watch him.

There was something different about this girl. She was young and old at the same time; an ageless wonderment that stood before him. They were barely a meter apart from each other when he stopped in his steps.

And her watchful eyes stayed on him.

" It's too dangerous for a young girl like you to be alone with this weather." he said cheerfully.

" Neither is it time for young boys to play outside." she rebuted calmly.

She was familiar. So distinctly familiar.

A flicker of amusement danced in his eyes.

" Is that all you wanted to tell me?" she snapped.

" Are you in a rush?" he asked.

" No." she said.

He read her mind fairly easily. " You're waiting to pick up a cousin, and this is your meeting place." he said, and she spun around to look at him, eyes wide.

" What's your name?" he asked, taking yet another step towards her.

" Who needs to know?" she said.

" I do." he said calmly. " Now, if you may, would you tell me?"

" What's your name?" Hao asked.

Slowly, almost deliberately, she drew a lemon to her lips and his eyes widened.

" Sumiko." she replied. " Yakumo Sumiko."

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The scene seemed to return to Hao, and there stood Sumiko and Ejio before him once more, but they were slowly and quietly disappearing into the distance. " Sumiko!" he yelled. " Sumiko! Come back! Sumiko!"

Yet, her pace did not hasten.

Ejio looked up at her.

" Are you sure you want to do this?" he asked her.

" Yes." she replied, and they disappeared into the mist around them.

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" I'm so glad you allowed us to come over before the party started, Anna." Tao Jun said happily.

Anna gave her a withering smile before glancing at the other three hopeful grins of Pirika, Jeanne and Tamao. She sighed and looked down at her feet. " I suspected you would be able to corner me somewhere somehow. So. . .fire away, I guess." Tao Jun looked surprised before grinning at the others, who gave her encouraging nods. " You told us that you finally made love to Yoh, but you spared the details. We want you to confess everything right now."

" Like what?" Anna said wearily.

" What happened after that?" Pirika asked eagerly.

" What do you mean?"

" Like. . .was there soft kissing after the moment, or what?" Jeanne asked, bobbing on the balls of her feet. " Or did he just leave the room for a shower? Or did you fall asleep in each others arms? Or did you start doing it all over again after a moments rest? Or did the phone ring? Or did you feign sleep, and when Yoh fell asleep did you go watch the television? Or did you. . ."

" I'm begging you to stop." Anna said.

" What happened afterwards?" Tao Jun asked. " Come on, Anna, I told you all about my past experiences. . .it's only fair that you tell me yours."

" Oh. . ." Anna said, chewing on her bottom lip. " I don't. . ."

" Out with it, Anna!" the four girls said aloud.

Anna sighed. " Fine. I went to the shower. Yoh followed me inside, and. . ."

" You didn't!" Pirika gasped, while Tao Jun and Jeanne giggled.

" Yeah, we did." Anna said, blushing furiously.

" Was he. . .good?" Tamao asked timidly.

Anna blinked at her before smirking. " You're certainly dirtier than you look." she muttered, and Tamao blushed through the roots of her hair. " Come on, out with it, Anna!" the other three yelled, their lips carrying inconceivable large grins. Anna glared at them for a moment before sighing. " He was, alright?"

" And? And? And?" Pirika and Jeanne chanted.

" And what?" Anna snapped, irritated.

" Describe the details, my dear Anna!" Tao Jun said. " Was his chest well-sculpted? Were his arms muscular? Was his ass tight? How big was his. . .?"

" Shut up!" Anna snapped, her face red as the door suddenly slid open, and there stood Yoh. No words could describe how long the others laughed. In fact, they laughed so long that Pirika's face turned to all colours of the rainbow; starting with red and ending with a very beautiful blue, just like her hair. " Er. . .Did I come at a back time?" Yoh asked, scratching the back of his head, which triggered off their laughter again.

" Yes, you did." Anna said, flushing, who was not in the mood to explain to him that they found any word associated with sex funny, even the slightest word like ' Come'. " Have you got the decorations up yet?"

" Soon." Yoh said, smiling cheekily. " Ren and the others are coming over to help me out."

" Alright." Anna said. " Get out, please."

They burst into hysterics.

Anna sighed.

" Okay." Yoh said. " Just call out my name. . ."

Tao Jun was almost screaming now.

" . . .When you need me. . ."

Pirika pounded her fists against the floor.

" . . .And I'll come right away."

Jeanne burst into a fit of giggles, and Yoh, now completely confused, gave one last smile at Anna before shutting the door. Anna glared at them, which seemed to stop them slowly. " Oh, that's real mature." she snarled, and the others paused for a moment, wiping the tears out of their eyes. " Will you quite while you're ahead?"

" Sorry." Tao Jun choked, wiping a last tear out of her eyes. " We couldn't help it."

" Oh, I'm sure of that." Anna said sarcastically.

" However, Anna. . ." Tao Jun said, her face serious now. " I was always worried about your relationship with Yoh in one aspect, and that was the mutual love and control." she finished, and by now there was not a sound of laughter in the room; everyone was looking serious, all staring at Jun with questioning faces. " It's like this. . ." Jun said, cutting into Anna's speech without letting her speak. " From what I'm guessing, you and Yoh did it a few times after the first. Is that right?"

" Yes." Anna said, not feeling embarrassed at all. " Is that bad?"

" Huh? No, it's not. It's sweet, actually." Tao Jun said, smiling at her. " Would you care to remember when you two have. . .er. . .made love, once again?"

The air was so sullen that even Pirika was looking collected.

" Er. . .I think I can." Anna said.

" Now, think very carefully now. Who was the one who initiated them? If I'm not wrong, I believe there was not once where you showed Yoh that you physically need him so badly that you did not care who was watching, or where you were." Jun said gravely, and Anna's eyes widened. " Am I not wrong?" Jun finished quietly.

" Now, don't think of anything strange, Yoh, all I want is for us to have a shower together." Anna said warningly, waggling a finger in front of his face. He cocked his head and grinned at her cheekily. " And why do you want that so suddenly, my dear?" he asked her. " Surely the first time we had sex made you feel dirty?" She glared at him before stepping into the bathroom, flicking the shower lights on.

" Let there be light." Yoh muttered foolishly.

" That was Chocolove-type humor." Anna said.

" And no doubt you are amused by it?"

" Not by half." Anna said, switching the heater on.

They sat there in silence for a moment, waiting for the heater to fully work for ten minutes. During this moment, Yoh spend his time gazing at Anna, while she spent the time deliberately trying to avoid his gaze. It was a moment later when he giggled and she turned to face him irritably. " You're so cute." he said. She answered him with a slap across his cheek. His smile did not falter, and all he did was continue to watch her.

" What has gotten into you?" she asked him incredulously. " Surely this is not what a man becomes after making love for the first time in his life?"

He giggled and bent down to look at his knees. " It's just that. . .I'm so glad that I can finally call you righteously mine." he said, and her expression softened. " When I first met you, I already knew you were the one who would give me non-stop tears and suffering. But I also knew you were the one who I would love for eternity."

Anna stopped in a mid-slap before sitting back on her feet, her face turning crimson.

" Idiot." she muttered.

It was at that moment when a soft clinking sounded, which meant that the showers were ready for use. She sighed and got to her feet, in which he got up too. Her back still facing her, her face looking straight into the glass doors of the shower cubicle, she sighed softly. " Yoh." she said, and he blinked.

" Yes?" he questioned.

" I love you." she said, after a pause.

He smiled.

" I love you too."

She turned around and whipped her hand across his face at that, and he stepped back in shock. " What the Heck was that for?" he asked her, astonished. " It's nothing." Anna said calmly. " It's just that I thought for a moment there, my dear Yoh had turned into some lovesick puppy, and I wanted to wake you up."

" Maybe I have." Yoh said, smiling at her. " I could have been sleeping all this while."

She responded with another slap on his cheeks, and entered the shower cubicle. " You're sweet." she said flatly. " Irritating, but sweet."

" Thank you." he said, entering the cubicle with her, shutting the door behind him.

" Don't do anything." she said, warningly still.

" Not going to." he said calmly, reaching beside her to grab a cake of. . .

" Soap?" he asked her politely. " Yes please." she said. He rubbed it against the palm of his hands before massaging it onto Anna's head, and she let out a soft moan of pleasure. " You were always good with massaging, Yoh." she muttered, and his lips twitched. " Much obliged." he said, rubbing the soap down to her naked body. She gave him a warning glare, but he merely smiled down at her, continuing with his soft actions. Slowly and willingly, she shut her eyes and let him rub the solution all over her body. It was as he finished cleaning her legs when he stood back up again. She opened her eyes, and saw him gazing at her with such wanting and hunger she stood there, frozen for a moment.

He pressed his lips on hers, one arm grabbing her forcefully against him, the other wrenching the tap on; water spraying down on them, and she moaned peacefully. " Do you feel how hard you make me, Anna?" he muttered into her ear and she blushed, feeling his throbbing erection against her naked thigh.

" Yes." she whispered.

In one fluid motion, he slid himself into her, grasped both her thighs, and she wrapped them around his waist. " God, I want you so badly." he moaned.

" We just had sex a few minutes ago." she whimpered, his member fully inside her.

" If a man has been in the desert for years and finally reaches land, will one bottle of water be enough for him?" he said through gritted teeth. She whimpered as he made quick thrusts into her.

Slowly and steadily, a small smile adorned her lips.

" In that case. . ." She whispered into his ear. " Let me quench your thirst."

He replied with a moan, and continued to thrust into her.

That was the second time that they made love, and it was clearly Yoh who initiated it. The first time was, obviously, Yoh who made the first bold step. It was never her. It was always him. She struggled within her thoughts, ignoring the patient looks of the others, and rubbed her chin thoughtfully. What about the third time that took place on the rooftop? That was clearly initiated by her, she even went and put on makeup just to seduce him. However, when she thought about it once more for the second time. . .

His hands delved into her skirt, receiving an encouraging moan from Anna and he virtually smiled against her pressed lips. Her lips left his and pressed feverent kisses on his neck. He moaned softly, which turned into a yelp at the end as Anna bit down hard on his earlobe. " Tease me again, and it'll be your death that will be paid with." she muttered. " Scary." he said, grinning. She almost smiled back at him until she heard the approaching of footsteps to the door of the top most level of the school.

She made a vain attempt to push him away, but all that did was to make his grip on her hold firmer, and he fell down against the roof tiles below them; his body directly above hers. " Yoh!" she cried urgently. " There's people approaching this place! If they see us, I'm going to personally kill you!"

" They won't see us, because we're on the roof." Yoh said soothingly, gently caressing her hair, a move that always was lost on her. Not this time, though.

" Even so. . .they. . .are. . .right. . .below. . .us!" she yelled, slapping his cheeks with every word that she said, but at the moment it did not seem to have an effect on him; his hands already removing her underwear and tossing it aside impatiently. " Yoh. . ." she whimpered, and her eyes widened as the door opened, and familiar voices rang out from below them.

" Wow, it's really windy today." came the unsuspecting voice of Horo from below.

" Lord have Mercy." Anna moaned.

" Thanks." Yoh said cheerfully.

" Not you," she snarled. " That blue-haired idiot's right below us!"

" Yeah, almost makes me wish Pirika was here instead of you two." came Ren's wistful voice.

" Shit." Anna muttered.

" Ah? Make a dish freebee car was here instead of blue two?"

" Damn, Chocolove is down there too." Anna moaned. " Yoh, I'm almost begging you now. . .please get off me."

For once, Yoh ignored her, and had already removed his pants and pressed himself into her. She let out a loud moan, before clasping her hands over her mouth quickly; terrified. " What was that?" came Horo's voice. " Was that the wind?"

" Dumbass." Ren said coldly. " How can wind sound like that?"

" Yeah!" said Chocolove. " How can Ren have found like a hat?"

" Yoh. . ." Anna moaned, thumping her fists against Yoh's chest in vain; his member already making fluid movements into her, thrusting into her with great feavour. " Please. . .don't. . ."

It was at that moment as their eyes met when she saw through them; lust, love, wanting, pain, pleasure. . .everything that he felt for her was through that one glance. Slowly but surely, her hands dropped to her sides, and she shut her eyes softly. He smiled at her and gently caressed her cheek. " God, I love you." he muttered. " Now you're just being a good Christian." she muttered, and his lips twitched. " Say my name, Yoh." she hissed.

" After you say mine." he said, grinning.

" You know, I think it sounded like a girl." Chocolove said, rubbing his chin thoughtfully, and it sounded like Ren and Horo had finished beating him to a pulp. " I don't hear sounds coming from a girl much, but I believe that was one. Ren, of all people, should know, right?"

" Hmm." Ren said thoughtfully. " I think it did, now that you say it."

" Come on, lover. . ." Anna said throatily, drawing a thin finger against his clenched jaw soothingly. " Say my name."

He groaned; Anna certainly had a way to get the things she wanted without even trying. " Anna. . ." he moaned. " That's. . .not. . .loud enough," she whispered, thrusting back at him, gripping his shoulder painfully and he let out a painfully and lustful gasp.

" Now what was that?" Horo exclaimed. " That's way too low for a girl's voice."

" Yes, it is." Ren said. " If I'm not wrong, two people are really enjoying themselves around here."

" Whoa!" came Horo's voice. " The girl sounded really hot! You guys feel like probing?"

" Dumbass, don't be stupid. Come on, let's go downstairs." came Ren's haughty voice.

" A. . .Anna. . ." Yoh choked, as Anna pressed soft kisses against his neck.

" Not loud enough, dear." she said.

" You. . .want. . .them. . .to. . .hear. . .us?" Yoh gasped as Anna licked devilishly against his neck.

" Previously you didn't seem to give a damn if they saw us or not." Anna said, rolling her hips, making him groan and moan like never before. " At the moment, I don't give a damn if they notice us or not; I'll just disappear before they arrive and you will seem like you were wanking to my name, or something."

" Bitch." he hissed.

" What was that again?" Anna said, kissing his throat, her tongue darting in and out of her mouth once in a while, pleasuring him beyond anything possible. " God. . .that feels good. . ." Yoh moaned, his eyes shut. " Then say my name." Anna said coyly. " Say it, or I'll stop."

" Anna," he groaned.

" Oh, don't be such a faggot." Horo said to Ren impatiently. " Where could they be? It should be somewhere where they think nobody can see them. Would it be behind those walls at the back?"

" What would you do if you see them, anyway?" Ren said impatiently. " The guy's not going to invite you to engage in a threesome, you know. I'm not going to help you get out of this one, you sick bastard."

" He might." Horo said, opening the back door and peering inside. " Nope, not in there. Hey, I wonder how hot the chick is? She should be, coming from the sounds of her voice."

" Maybe it was the wind." Ren said, rolling his eyes.

Horo ignored him, and continued his search.

" Anna!" Yoh groaned, bucking his hips. " I. . .I'm coming. . ."

" Now, now, sweetheart," she said tauntingly. " You know you have to use more profound words. How about. . .I'm approaching my limit?"

" Ah. . .I. . .Shut. . .up. . ."

" What was that?" she said, smirking.

" You know," came Ren's voice from below. " What if they're both really ugly?"

" Then it's bad luck for Horo Horo, I guess." Chocolove said. " I'm going to laugh my head off if that happens."

" I certainly hope so." came Ren's cold voice. " So you won't be able to say anymore of those corny jokes anymore."

" Anna. . .please. . ." Yoh moaned as Anna started to slowen down her pace.

" My name, please." she said tauntingly. Yoh bit down on his lip. Hard.

" Come on, Horo Horo, you've looked everywhere, and it's not possible they're screwing in the sky. Let's just go now, alright?" Ren's impatient voice said. " We're going to be late for class."

" Hmph." Horo said grumpily. " Alright then."

" Aha?" said Chocolove. " A frying pan?"

" Keep making jokes, and I'm going to hit you in the mouth with one." Ren's threatening voice said as their voice echoed down the stairs followed by the slam of the door.

" Anna!" he moaned as she rolled her hips more forcefully against his. " Please!"

" If you insist." she said coyly, and wrapped her arms around his neck, accepting his forceful thrusts, whimpering against his ear. " I would kill you if you weren't so damn beautiful." he breathed.

" That's the reason why I'm still alive." she said throatily.

He winced as he felt himself come, and screamed out her name as he pulled himself out of her in time.

" Huh." Anna muttered.

" What?" Tao Jun asked her.

" Now that you mention it, it's true that it was always Yoh who seemed like he wanted me so badly that it physically hurt him. I was never the one to start." Anna said, and at the moment Pirika raised her eyebrows at Anna doubtfully. " Er, Anna. . .do you like. . .doing it, with Yoh?"

" What sort of perverted question is that?" Anna asked incredulously.

" I mean. . .when the two of you were doing it, did both of you have equal wanting for each other, or was it mainly Yoh, and you were just acting like you were enjoying it to please Yoh?"

Silence.

" Oh my God." Anna whispered.

" That's right." Jun said grimly. " From my point of view, it seems like you have no physical attraction to Yoh at all."

" That. . .can't be right," Anna said, shocked.

" Then show him." Jun said firmly, while smiles adorned the faces of the others.

" And how do I do that?" Anna asked, dreading the answer.

" Oh, I'm sure you'll figure something out." Jeanne said, her lips twitching.

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" Hao, the party doesn't start till seven night." a very surprised Yoh who answered the door said. " I know," Hao said in a voice falsely cheery, swinging a shopping bag in his hands. " I just wanted to drop by some snacks that you can give at the party. Look, I have an entire box outside. . .this is just a bit out of each." he said plainly, dropping the bag onto the table and opened it up lankily.

" Oh, that's very thoughtful of you." Yoh said.

" No problem." Hao said. " Look, right here. Here's some ingredients for punch, there's some onigiri boxes right here, some japanese biscuits that Anna loves so much, and of course, the main ingredient. . ." he pulled out a large stack of condoms. " Here's for you, brother."

" Hao, not here!" Yoh gasped, stuffing it right into the bottom of the back hurriedly, and Hao laughed. " It's alright, I bet Anna's not going to mind you bringing these home anymore." he said, and walked past him to leave out the front door. Yoh watched him leave for a moment before scratching the back of his neck uncomfortably. " Hey," he said, and Hao turned. " Do you want to. . .hang out for a while? I mean. . .Anna's up there with her friends, and I'm bored."

Hao watched him for a moment before smiling.

" Alright." he said. " I guess I have some time to spare."

" Okay." Yoh said, grinning, walking into the kitchen. Hao followed him, a frown on his face. This scene looked extremely familiar. But where had they experienced this before? Yoh pulled out two peaches from the fridge and made his way out to the garden outside, Hao still following in his footsteps. They sat on the grass in silence, the peaches still in Yoh's hand, gazing up at the stars calmly.

" Can I have one?" Hao asked.

" Ah?" Yoh asked, gazing up at the stars in confusion, before noticing where Hao was looking. " Oh! The peach! Oh! Ah. . .yeah, here. Take it."

" Thanks."

Silence once more.

" It's a beautiful night." Yoh said quietly.

" Yeah, it is."

Silence for the third time.

" Don't you wish you were out here with Anna instead of me?" Hao asked.

" Yeah, I guess. But you're good company too."

Silence for the fourth time.

" Hao." Yoh said sullenly, and Hao turned to face him, a questioning look on his face. " Why do you seem so fake all of a sudden?" he asked, and the smile faltered from Hao's face. " Everything you seem to do is like an act. . .and it makes me feel unnatural around you."

" You aren't supposed to be around me in the first place." Hao said jokingly. " I'm the man who wants to steal away your fiancee, don't you remember?"

" We both know that you'd never do that, my dear brother." Yoh said.

Hao looked amused. " And what makes you say that?"

Yoh turned to him.

" It's a sixth sense, if you will." he said quietly.

" I'm intrigued about your confidence." Hao said. " And baffled by your stupidity."

" Funny how those two coincide, right?"

" Or how they combine and become one."

" And what if they were one from the first place and slowly drifted apart?"

" That would depend on the situation and viewpoint." Hao said, taking a bite into the peach. " Mm. It's really sweet. I like it."

" Thank you. Anna bought them from the market."

" Anna? The market? Really?"

" Yeah. . .she decided she should start doing stuff around the house just recently."

" Is that right?" Hao said, a small smile curving upon his face, and Yoh smiled at him. " You become really happy when we speak about Anna." he whispered.

" Do you hate me for that?" Hao asked.

" Not at all." Yoh said. " It makes you seem more human."

" Oh? Did I seem like a robot before?"

" Not so much as a robot. . .more of a clown."

" Thank you." Hao said witheringly.

" I didn't mean it in the way you think of it," Yoh said hastily. " I mean. . .a clown always puts on a mask before he shows up in an act. And. . .he could be tortured by the ringmaster, he could be having family problems, and yet every night he has to go onstage to humor folks who seek nothing but a good show from him. Who knows if a clown. . .cries behind the mask he wears?"

Hao fell silent.

" I didn't think you would think that of me." he said sullenly.

" You never did seem happy when you were around us."

" I'm not as fortunate as you, Yoh. I hope you realize that."

" And how so?"

" You have friends." Hao said, his voice very quiet now. " You have parents that care about you."

" They're your parents too."

" They don't give a shit about me if I died."

Yoh fell silent.

" You have a house with people who care about you inside. You have a woman by your side."

" You have women by your side."

" I don't love them!" Hao exclaimed, and for once Yoh heard fear inside his voice; something that had not existed for years long.

Was this the true facade of Hao Asakura? Could it be that below all that cockiness and pride was just this afraid little child?

" I don't love anybody! I don't care when my companions die! Did I shed a tear when a girl committed suicide because I didn't love her back? No! I just laughed! I laughed! When I break a girl's heart, I feel nothing! I don't care if they died, I don't care if they wanted to lose their virginities to a man who loved them back! I DON'T CARE ABOUT ANYONE! The only person I actually cared about and loved and wanted to spend the rest of my life with WAS STOLEN AWAY BY MY BROTHER!" he screamed, burying his face in his hands.

And for once, tears fell from his eyes.

Yoh just stared at his brother for a moment before biting into the peach in his hands.

" I'm not so fair off either." he said.

Hao looked up from his hands but still did not look at Yoh, his eyes were practically boring holes into the peach that was in his hands. " So you're saying that you have a worse off life than me?" he asked him venomously, almost daring him to agree. " Oh no, Heaven Forbid." Yoh said, chuckling. " I don't deny that your life is depressing. . .but I can't tell you with confidence that my life is sprinkled heavens either."

" Oh yeah?" Hao said baldly, biting into his peach. " How so?"

Yoh remained silent for a moment before speaking, " When you see this beautiful woman end up with a totally regular young boy who never excelled in anything at all. . .what would you think?"

Hao's eyes widened.

At that moment, Anna appeared behind them, opening her mouth to call out to Yoh.

" I think that's exactly what every person in school thinks of me and Anna." Yoh said softly, and Anna's opened mouth shut quietly. " There are so many times when guys gives me glares and whispers like, 'He's not worthy of her', or ' He doesn't know how lucky he is' They could not be more wrong. There's not one day that goes past without me thanking the heavens that I have a fiancee so beautiful, so wonderful, so. . .altogether perfect."

Anna felt her face redden.

" Yoh. . ." Hao said quietly.

" You know that me and Anna already made love?" Yoh said.

Hao looked up at the skies.

" Yeah, I do."

" You know what I did that night?" Yoh said. Hao said nothing. " I woke up at around five in the morning. She was still asleep, and she had snuggled up to me in her sleep. I started to cry. I started to cry my heart out because I could not believe someone like her would actually want and love me back. I failed her in everything, I never succeeded in anything she wanted me to do. . .and yet after so many failed attempts she still came back to me."

Hao's expression softened.

" When I run those miles for Anna. . .the only thing that cheers me up when I reach the finish line is that no matter how long I take. . .she would always be at the end waiting for me."

A lone tear fell from Anna's eye, and she wiped it away hastily.

Something crossed Hao's expression as he watched his brother before nodding his head, taking a gnaw out of the peach in hand. " Everything will work out." he said. " That's your motto, isn't it?"

Yoh smiled at him gratefully.

" Yeah." he said. " I guess it will."

Anna took one last glance at the two of them before turning her heel and made her way back into the house.

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Night fell.

It took less than seconds for the house to be totally filled with people of all ages; friends, family, teachers, principals, enemies, school janitors. . .everyone was there. Ren, Horo Horo and the others arrived before any of the others, and it was only as the house filled with unknowing witnesses when they spotted Hao Asakura standing next to Yoh solemnly, a glass of punch in his hands. Ren's eyes widened, Horo gasped, Lyserg almost screamed and Ryu pointed a finger at Hao's face, in which he just stared back at it calmly. " YOU!" Ryu stated.

" Me." Hao said grimly. " Do you like the punch? I paid for it."

" The punch?" Ren said, an eyebrow raising in a synchronized notion with the top of his hair. " The punch? You did all that bullshit to Yoh and you paid for the punch? You want the punch, you made the punch, you even bought the damn punch, I'll give you a punch!"

" Oh, that's wonderful." Hao said sarcastically. " You've practically made an entire nursery rhyme all by yourself. You should feel proud."

" Haha." Ren said wirily. " You're a real comic. Real funny."

" Thank you." Hao said with a mock bow. " I think you are amusing too."

" Asshole. . ." Horo Horo said, his ice cannons appearing by his sides.

" Do not harm him." Yoh said coldly; in a voice so cold that the others stopped in their actions. " It was he who offended me and if I can find it within myself to forgive him, I don't see why all of you can't."

" That's because you're too damn forgiving." Ren snarled.

" I will not say this twice." Yoh said, his voice practically tinged with ice. " Do. Not. Harm. Him."

There was a very awkward pause that passed until Horo slowly put down his ice cannons, his eyes never leaving Hao's. And Hao simply looked back coldly. Horo blinked.

" I'm going to have sex with a complete stranger, I'll see you buddies later." Hao said calmly, stepping past Yoh, and disappeared through the crowd.

" That's a bastard and I know it." Ryu growled.

" Not just that. . ." Horo said, frowning. " Is it just me, or does Hao's eyes suddenly seem so cold, weary and tired? The old Hao would at least have bothered to cover that up."

Manta, who was standing not too far away raised his eyebrows over the top of his glass.

" Is that right?" he asked himself incredulously.

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" I'm not doing this."

" Yes you are."

" Why should I?"

" Because that's just what you have to do." Tao Jun said firmly, clapping Anna on the shoulders. Anna sighed, chewing on the bottom of her lip anxiously. " Oh, I don't know. . ." she muttered. Tao Jun glared at her so ferociously that Anna took a step back in alarm. " You have to do this, Anna." she said to her. " It's not just women who need recognition from their lover that they love them. Men have needs and insecurities too. Trust me. Just this once. When it comes to love advice, am I ever wrong?"

Anna paused for a moment before sighing in defeat.

" Fine." she said, and Tao Jun let out a cry of joy. " But if this doesn't work. . ."

" I'll let you slap me as many times as you want." Jun said.

" And if it does. . .?"

Tao Jun winked at her.

" Promise me you'll give him the shagging of a lifetime."

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Hao sat by the porch, looking lazily at the guests who started to swarm through the house. He was about to fall asleep when suddenly a familiar pair of feet approached him. He opened a sleepy eye, and he jumped to his feet as he realized who the person before him way. " Ejio!" he gasped, gawking at the young boy before him. " What are you doing here? Where's Sumiko?"

" I think we'd better have a chat." Ejio said emotionlessly, his hands in his pockets, stepping past him to enter the house. " Please meet me inside a room where nobody would enter to disturb us."

Hao blinked.

" Yeah, Anna's." he said flatly. As far as he knew, nobody in their right minds would dare to barge into that frightful young lady's room. " You haven't answered my question yet. Where is Sumiko?"

" I will answer anything you want to ask me when we reach Anna's room." he said coldly, disappearing through the crowd. Hao raised his eyebrows, following the young boy up the stairs. " Hey, wait a minute. . ." he said as Ejio reached her room, waited until he had entered too before shutting the door. " How did you know where her room was?"

" I met her before." Ejio said grimly, before turning his attention to the poster of Boblove with raised eyebrows. " Is this man a clown?" he asked.

" No idea. Could be." Hao said, shrugging. " Now, answer me."

Ejio sat down to the floor, reaching into his pocket and pulled out a small mountain of toothpicks. Hao rolled his eyes, but Ejio ignored him, calmly stacking the first layer. " Now you may ask me anything you wish." he said.

" Hmm, that's a toughie." Hao said sarcastically. " Let me think. . .I might need more than a week to make up my mind. . .let's say. . .oh, I've got it. . .hmm. . .I don't know. . .I'm not sure. . .let's say. . .WHERE IS SUMIKO?"

" I have not seen her ever since we reached Kino's place." he said calmly, on the second layer within seconds. " She locked herself up in her room from the start."

" How can you speak in such an offhand voice?" Hao said, his eyes bulging. " She's your sister!"

" It's not like I'm her father or something." Ejio said coldly. " And it's not my fault that you broke her heart. If you returned her love, this would never have happened in the first place."

" I didn't know I loved her!" Hao yelled at him, then stopped.

Ejio was in a mid-movement to place the fifth layer and stopped, looking up to meet Hao's eyes. " You. . .love her now?" he asked him.

Hao blinked.

Did he love her?

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Rain was pouring down in buckets; a lone woman made her way towards the Asakura house, a letter clamped tightly in her hands. She half-expected herself to knock, but at the moment it did not seem necessarily. Almost every inch of the house was filled with people of all ages, and there were all chattering excitedly and having a good time. She blinked, and walked over to a young man in a white cloak with a beautiful woman in a nurse costume beside him.

" Excuse me," she said flatly, and Faust turned around. " May I know where Anna Kyoyuma is?"

" Anna?" Faust asked, scratching the back of his head. " I don't know. . ." he said, turning to the woman. She shook her head and he turned to Sumiko. " We don't know." he said kindly. " Would you like me to call her fiancee over for you?"

" Yes please." Sumiko said.

" Yoh!" Faust called out. " Yoh! Someone's here looking for you!"

A young man walked over, a cheerful smile on his face. Sumiko's eyes widened. " Asakura?" she gasped. He raised his eyebrows at her and grinned brightly. " Yakumo! What are you doing here?"

" I. . .erm. . ." she said, embarrassed. " I came to see. . ." she blinked, bewildered, turning around to face Faust. " What did you just call him?"

" Yoh." Faust said. " He's Hao's twin brother."

Anna's eyes widened. " That can't be right. . ." she whispered. " Kino never told me that Yoh had a twin brother. . .all she said was that. . ." At that moment she stopped. Kino had been using her all along. She had expected Sumiko to speak to Hao one last time before leaving. Why did she want Sumiko to be shot down, she did not know. But all she knew now was how stupid and foolish she was being.

" Sumiko!" she could still see Hao's hurt and desperate face. " Don't leave!"

" Where's Hao Asakura?" she asked.

" I don't know." Yoh said, shrugging his shoulders. " All I know is that Anna went towards her room. . .we'll visit her first, and I'll bring you to meet my brother, alright?"

" Yes. Thank you." Sumiko said, following him in his footsteps.

Technically. . .she still had not confessed to Hao once more. She guessed she was entitled to one more chance, wasn't she?

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" I think I do."

There was total silence that followed Hao's sentence, and Ejio paused in the movement of putting a toothpick onto another for just a mere second, before actually placing it upon the other. " You are in love with Sumiko?" he asked Hao quietly. Hao paused for a moment, looking down at his feet. Hots, wet tears were spilling down his face. Ejio turned around to face him, his face still impassive. " Why are you crying?" he asked him emotionlessly. Hao wiped his tears away hastily, and Ejio frowned. " Is it because you're ashamed for admitting you love someone like my sister?"

" No!" Hao yelled. " It's not that, it's just. . ."

" It's just. . ." Ejio stacked the ninth layer. " . . .What?"

Hao looked away. " I can't explain this feeling, it's nothing like what I felt for Anna. It's just. . ."

Ejio stacked the tenth layer calmly.

" Unexpected." Ejio said.

" Yeah." Hao said.

" So you're wondering if you're just in love with her because she was the girl you first fell in love with? The girl in the rain?" Ejio said plainly, snapping a loose toothpick into two calmly. " And you're thinking it's highly possible you would never have fallen for her if it were not for you remembering such an incident?"

Hao, for once, felt embarrassed.

" Yeah." he said.

Ejio sighed.

" Dumb idiot." he said. " Do you think you would have fallen for Anna if she didn't slap you? She hurt your pride, and that caused you to fall in love with her."

Hao's eyes widened.

" How did you. . .?"

" I am a medium." Ejio said flatly. " I can tell when anything. . ." Suddenly, a small mental image flashed through his head; someone was approaching this room. The thirteenth layer feel stead before he kicked it, the pile toppling to the ground. " . . .Happens." he finished, getting to his feet abruptly. " Hey, where are you going?" asked Hao loudly. " I'm not done talking to you!"

" Well, I have to go somewhere." Ejio said flatly. " Wait for me right here, I'll be back. I shan't be long."

" You better not take your time." Hao said nastily.

Ejio answered that with a slam of the door.

" He's a mighty rude one." he muttered, sighing as he heard Hao curse loudly from inside. He took three quick strides forward, and almost bumped into the girl who he had not met for over ten years. She glared at him irritably, making motion to step past when she stopped, gaped, and turned back to look at him. " Ejio-san?" she said. " What on earth are you doing here? Aren't you still in Cuba?"

" It's a long story, I'll explain it later." he said.

" If you're here, then where's Sumiko-san?" she asked him, peering behind her to get a hopeful glance of the missing person. " She's not here." Ejio said. " Caught up with some businesses, I believe."

" Oh." Anna muttered. " Right. Say hello to her for me. Is she still always eating those damn lemons?"

" Afraid so." Ejio said sullenly and Anna's lips twitched. " That's just like her." she said quietly. " But enough about that, you still haven't answered me yet. What are you doing at a party? I thought you hated loud noises."

" I do." Ejio said. " In fact, I think I'd best be off. I have a lot of things ahead to do."

" Oh." Anna said. " Well, it was good to see you again."

" You too." Ejio said, bowing slightly. It was at that moment when another flash entered his mind; in the far distance, two more people were already making their way up here. Another jolt entered his mind, and a young lady with green hair flashed before his eyes; her words, her smirk, her smile. . .and Anna's affronted face. Ejio rubbed his chin thoughtfully. Slowly and surely, a small plan within his head slowly started to take action. " By the way, I met your fiancee." he said to her. " Yoh Asakura, isn't he?"

" Oh, you have?" Anna said hopefully. " Where? I'm looking for him."

I know.

" He's in your room." Ejio said flatly. " Apparently he was very tired, so he decided to take a nap in there."

" Typical." she said, rolling her eyes. " Did he put on those damn earphones again?"

" Not this time." he replied. " But he untied his hair. He looks like a girl now."

" I'll bet." Anna said. Then her eyebrows raised. " Where's Hao Asakura?"

" I have some businesses with him." Ejio said firmly. " In fact, I think I'd better meet him right now. . ."

Anna nodded. " Alright." she said, before flushing. " By the way, Ejio. . ." she said. " I was hoping that you could. . ." she started, which was met with his expressionless face. She sighed. " . . .help me make sure that nobody came up to this level. I wanted to. . .talk. . .to him without any interruptions."

" I will do my best." he said, bowing lightly.

She gave him a small smile before walking off. At that moment, a small and almost invisible smile slid upon Ejio's face. " Thirty seconds ought to do it." he muttered. " Just thirty seconds should do the trick." It was as he was down the steps when Sumiko and Yoh appeared before him.

" Where is Anna Kyoyuma?" Sumiko asked him.

He pointed upwards. " She went upstairs to her room."

" Thank you." Yoh said to him cheerfully as Sumiko took off up the stairs without a word. Ejio sighed and walked onwards until he reached the area where Kino stood, grinning up at him hopefully. " It's done." he said, and Kino let out a small cry of success.

" " That letter trick was so fake. I know what's inside it; it's merely a bill that we threw out in the trash." Yohmei, who was beside her, said reproachfully. " I hope you know what you're doing."

" Oh, yes, I do." Kino replied. " It's not only Hao who knows how to use the laws of jealousy."

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Anna took in a deep breath as she stood before the door of her room, her fingers rubbing against her chin. " Damn you, Tao Jun." she muttered, before pulling the sliding door open, and a sleeping Hao came into her vision. She rolled her eyes and took a step forward. " I swear, you're looking more and more like your brother every day." she said. He did not reply. She took yet another step towards him and sat down next to his sleeping figure. She let out a small chuckle. " Wow, this is giving me a sense of deja vu." she muttered. " It's just at that time, you were mad at me. I certainly hope you aren't upset at me again." She lifted a hand and grazed it against his cheek.

Slowly, Hao stirred.

" Look," she said. " I know there's a difference in the passion between you and me, but. . .I just wanted to tell you that I love you as much as you do to me. And. . .I feel the same way as you." Her fingers stroked delicately in his hair, and she let out a small jump as he sat upright, his hair falling over his face. She smiled slightly. " I guess you're awake now." she said. " Did you hear what I said before?"

" Yeah." he let out a small mumble, turning to face her, but before he had a chance to speak, her lips pressed firmly against his. He gasped into her mouth but she ignored that, a small smile curving upon her face, her hands reaching down to his belt buckle, earning a moan from him. " You like that, don't you?" she whispered, her lips leaving his to press butterfly trails upon his neck.

" Anna, what the Hell. . ." he moaned.

" Shh. . ." she muttered. " Just don't speak."

It was at that moment when the door slid open, and there stood Yoh and Sumiko, a smile on Yoh's, and a dull look on Sumiko's. But when the scene came before them, looks of shock replaced them. Anna looked up irritably. " Ejio, I thought I told you to. . ." she started, while stopping in mid-speech. Her eyes gazed into Yoh's, which stared back at her with a look of affrontation. " Yoh?" she asked incredulously. " Then this person. . ." She looked at Hao before clasping her hands over her lips. " Oh my God." she whispered.

" Anna. . ." Hao said, but his eyes immediately turned to Sumiko, who was staring at him in unflattering shock.

" Hao." Yoh muttered, gritting his teeth, his hands clenching up into balls, Amidamaru appearing by his side. Hao took a step back. " Yoh, you don't understand!" Hao said. " HAO!" Yoh yelled, taking a lunge forward, slamming his fist into Hao's jaw, causing him to fall backwards.

" Yoh! Stop it!" Anna cried, turning to Hao, almost warning him not to hurt Yoh back. But it was unnecessarily. His eyes were shut, his hands limp on their sides, simply accepting the blows that Yoh laid on him. She gritted her teeth before muttering, " Off." It was within seconds when an invisible whip lunged at Yoh, toppling him to his feet. He glared up at Anna, who chewed on her bottom lip. " Yoh. . ."

" Don't even say my name." Yoh growled, getting to his feet. " Just act like I didn't even barge in."

" Yoh! It's not what you think it is! Hao, say something!"

But Hao was looking right into Sumiko's eyes, and she was looking right back. A solid, impassive moment passed between the two of them until Sumiko bowed low, and turned her heel to walk away. " Sumiko!" Hao yelled, getting to his feet and running after her. Yoh gave one last look of disgust to Anna before turning his heel and left. " Yoh!" she called out, running after him.

Below, Kino took a sip of tea happily.

She glanced at the four people running down the stairs, one after another before smiling. " It's a noisy night." she muttered. Ejio turned to her, blinking. " Yeah." he said. " It is."

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" Yoh, wait!"

" Don't come near me!" Yoh yelled, running out of the house, the scene being watched by curious passer-bys. Anna gritted her teeth, a stitch appearing by her stomach. For once in her life, she blamed herself for making Yoh run all those miles. " You should be back there snogging your boy-friend!"

" It's all a misunderstanding, Yoh!" she said. " Do you actually think for one moment that I would choose Hao over you?"

" It certainly seems like it!" Yoh yelled. " Get the Hell away from me!"

" I thought he was you, damn it!" Anna burst out.

Yoh stopped running, and at that moment they realized where they were. It was an empty grassland, totally surrounded by stars. He turned around to face her in question. " What?" he asked. She glared at him, clutching her sides. " I. . .I was looking for you. A friend of mine told me you were in my room, so naturally I thought that Hao was you. . ."

" What the Hell was Hao doing in your room?"

" You're asking me?" she said. " I thought he was you!"

He glared at her before walking off again. " You're lying. Me and Hao look so much unalike. What, you thought I suddenly liked to leave my hair flowing?"

" I trusted that friend." she said. " He never lied to me before."

" Well, that's quaint." he said sarcastically, taking another step forward before finding himself cornered against a wall. He turned around to face her once again.

" Do you still not believe me?" she said, feeling a touch of annoyance.

" Yes." he snarled. " Can you blame me? You're the one kissing my brother! Hell, your hands were on his bloody zipper!"

" Because I thought he was you!" she yelled.

" That's bullshit." he said. " You never try to make the first move. It's always me who has to coax you into it. Why did you suddenly want to make love to me, anyway?"

" That's the reason I was looking for you! I wanted to make love to you!"

" Bullshit." he said.

It was at that moment when her hand whipped across his cheek, and he staggered back. There were tears in her eyes now, and she wiped them away angrily. " Do you actually think for one second that I gave you my virginity just to end up with Hao Asakura? And wasn't it you who said to trust him? I thought he was you. He was asleep when I entered. Come to think of it, I barely gave him time to speak."

Yoh's mouth opened and shut for a moment before he hung his head.

" Oh." he said.

" Idiot." she muttered, the tears continuing to flow from his eyes.

He took three quick strides to her before wrapping his arms around her, her tears dampening his shirt. " I'm sorry I even misunderstood you." he whispered into her ear. " You better be." He pressed kisses onto the top of her head. " So let me get everything right." he said. " You thought Hao was me."

" Yes." she said tearfully.

" You do not love Hao."

" Yes."

" You love me."

" Yes."

" I love you too."

" I know."

He pulled away from her to smile down at her. She smiled back up at him as he wiped away stray tears from her eyes. Turning his heel, he stuffed his hands into his pockets. " Come on." he said. " Let's go. I'm hungry."

Yet, she did not move.

He raised his eyebrows and turned around to look at her.

" Let's go, Anna." he said.

Without warning, she jumped into his arms, her lips pressed tightly against his, wrapping her arms around his neck. He gasped, losing his balance, falling to the ground below. Not wasting another moment, she removed the constriction of his pants, and took off his boxers quickly. " Anna, not here," he said, looking around. " This is a garden, a security guard or someone could catch us any moment. . ."

" Who cares?" she whispered, a finger pressing against his lips, and his eyes widened. " I want you. Now. Please."

His widened eyes turned into a wide smile. " Okay." he said.

It was as Yoh hurriedly removed Anna of all her clothes when Tao Jun's words flashed into her mind again. It was true, what that woman said. At the moment she could not give a damn if anyone in the world caught them or not. All that mattered was that she loved him. She loved him beyond anything in the world. And nothing would change that.

" God, you're so large, Yoh." she moaned as he plunged into her.

" Yes, and I love you too." he muttered, wincing slightly.

This time, there were no insults, no talking, no communication. There was no teasing, no expressing, there was just solid plain love. And their sounds showed that to each other. " Oh my God, Yoh!" she gasped and he smiled. " Say my name louder, Anna." he whispered.

" YOH!" she screamed, and he shuddered.

" God, you turn me on so much." he muttered.

" Then. . .show it." she whispered throatily, toppling him over balance.

He let out a strangled cry as he felt himself come and she screamed against his ear, wrapping her arms firmer around him, screaming out his name, as he did hers.

" YOH!" she screamed, bucking her lips.

" ANNA!" he yelled.

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Hao gritted his teeth.

" How can someone with such delicate legs run so fast?" he muttered, rubbing his chin.

" I didn't go anywhere." came a voice behind him, and he jumped a mile before whipping his head around so fast that there was a cracking sound. There Sumiko stood there, a lemon propped up in her mouth, sitting on the front few steps of the household peacefully, gazing up at the stars above. He chewed on his bottom lip, watching her for a minute. A very uncomfortable moment passed as he stood there looking down at her; with her looking up at the skies, ignoring him completely. " Can I sit down beside you?" he asked her.

" Whatever you like." she said.

He took a seat beside her.

Silence.

" Can I have one?" he asked her.

" One what?" she said.

" A lemon."

She finally turned to him with raised eyebrows. He grinned at her, shrugging. " I feel like having a lemon." he said. She gave him a skeptical look before handing on to him, in which he took it from her hands gratefully. " Thank you." he said softly. She gave him a brief nod before looking back at the skies once again. He sighed and bit the lemon between his two teeth. " So I guess you saw everything just now, didn't you?" he asked.

Silence.

" Not everything." she said.

Behind them, they could hear Ryu laughing falsely high at something Tao Jun had said, and behind him Pai Long and Ren were approaching him with clenched fists, Ren's grandfather already loading bullets into his gun. " Look, can we go somewhere more peaceful?" he said to her. " It's a little noisy here."

" You can go." she replied. " I like it here."

He blinked.

" I like it if you like it." he said, leaning on the palms of his hands.

She was looking at him incredulously now, but didn't say anything.

" I was resting in her room because Ejio asked me to wait in there for him." Hao said plainly. " Suddenly Anna came in and started kissing me for a reason I didn't know why at that moment. That was when you and Yoh came in, and I realized that she mistook Yoh for me."

Her mouth opened, before shutting quietly.

He turned to face her.

" Why are you telling me this?" she asked him bluntly.

He smiled.

" Because I don't want you to misunderstand."

" What would it matter if I misunderstood or not?" she enquired. " Anna's a beautiful girl. You should be honored to be found making out with her alone in her room."

" We weren't making out." he said quickly.

" My apologies." she said, giving a slight bow.

Silence.

Hao found himself somewhat outnumbered, and there was only the two of them on the front porch. She was unlike any girl he had ever met before; she was so rude and abashed but yet at the same time so tranquil and innocent. With any other girl a single line from him could send them into a line of long giggles, but she was different. With her, he could not use any more lines, any more jokes. . .

He could only be himself.

" Sumiko. . ." he said silently, and she turned to him.

" Yes?" she answered.

He chewed on his bottom lip; Sumiko waited patiently.

" I was wondering. . .if. . .you. . .were free tomorrow?"

She blinked.

" Tomorrow?" she asked.

" Tomorrow." he said. " There's this japanese restaurant I've been dying to try out."

She almost rolled her eyes. " Is it a sushi restaurant?"

" Yes." he said, grinning broadly. " How did you guess?"

" Just a hutch." he said, shrugging.

She gave him a small smile, which caused his heart to beat faster than ever before. " I want to go look for my brother," she said, getting to her feet. " I want to question him about something. . ."

" I. . ." he started, but she was already to her feet, and was walking away.

Gritting his teeth, he gripped her arm forcefully, which caused her to lose her balance, and she fell backwards; landing gently in Hao's arms.

She froze by his touch, her eyes staring, confused, back into his.

" I LOVE ANNA KYOYUMA!" came Yoh's loud voice behind them, his arm wrapped around her waist, cheers and wolf whistles ringing throughout the entire house at his words. Anna, blushing furiously, slapped him across the cheek, earning laughs from the crowd.

" Asakura, can you let go of me?" Sumiko asked.

" I always knew you had in within you!" came Ryu's cheerful voice.

Hao's grip on her tightened, and she blinked.

" No." he whispered.

" I think a song should come to order?" said Faust lightly, claps following.

" Whose birthday is it?" Yoh asked, confused, and others started to laugh.

" No?" Sumiko asked.

He lowered his head towards her, until they were barely noses apart. " No." he whispered, and pressed his lips against hers. For a minute there it seemed like she was going to kiss him back when she pushed him away, her face still impassive. " Asakura, don't do this." she said.

" Why not?" he asked, frustrated.

" I'm not a toy." she answered. " Will you let me go?"

" No." he said, for the third time running. " You're not a toy. You're not someone I want to use to cure my sorrows for Anna. I love you, Sumiko."

Her eyes fluttered for a moment there before it dimmed once again.

" You're just saying that because you found out I was the girl in the rain."

" No I'm not!" he said. " I really love you!"

" Now you're just sounding foolish." she said, struggling to pull away from him, but his grasp on her never ceased to break away. " I know you, Hao Asakura. You don't love me at all."

" I do!" he snapped, frustrated. " Why are you acting so stubborn? Don't you love me back?"

" So you were banking on my love for you? You hoped I would just kiss you back and let you make love to you right here on this front porch?"

" No I wasn't!"

" That's a surprise." she said acidly. Her eyes bore anger, hate and contempt. " I thought Hao Asakura would screw any girl who looked vaguely attractive."

" That's not what I want from you!" he said. " I. . ."

" Spare me." she snapped. " I'm not in the mood for made-up pick-up lines."

" I'm not going to. . ."

But she had wrenched herself out of his grasp and stomped away.

He opened his mouth to speak, but shut it again. It was until she was further away from him when he hung his head. " It's because. . .I've decided to stop running away." he said silently, and she stopped. " Throughout my life I've been going through a crisis within myself. What I am, what I'm doing, where I'm going. I couldn't answer any of the questions, because I feared myself beyond anything inside my life. When I saw Anna Kyoyuma I thought she would be able to answer that. But when you came. . .it was like you had patched up a hole within me."

She turned, her eyes full of question.

" I love you, Sumiko." he said, almost pleadingly. " Please believe me."

" I love you, I love you, I love you!" Yoh sang with the crowd, claps and cheers ringing throughout the house. Anna had buried her face in her hands, either in shame or to conceal the smile dawning upon her face.

" The only reason why I shot you down in the first place," he said, hanging his head, his eyes spilling with tears. " Was because I was waiting on for that special person. But now I know that that was you all along."

Anna's smile.

Sumiko's smile.

Anna's furious slap.

Sumiko's sweet lemon-biting habits.

The lemon.

The sour taste.

The sour taste.

The sour taste.

The yet again sour taste.

But the everlasting sweet center.

A hand had gently wiped his tears away, and Hao's eyes widened, looking up. There stood Sumiko before him, a bright smile on her face. " Crying is for girls and wimps only." she whispered. His eyes widened before smiling back at her. " I'm sorry." he whispered. They just stared at each other for a moment before Hao wrapped his arms against hers, his lips pressed against hers. She whimpered against his touch, but kissed him back with equal feavour, and when his lips finally left hers, he pressed tender kisses against her soft neck.

" I love you." he breathed. " I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you."

" Isn't that your brother's song?" she said, her lips twitching.

" God, but I do." he said, nibbling slightly on her neck, earning a moan from her. She lifted up his chin to face her, and she grinned. " I love you too." she said, and his heart leapt.

" How shall we celebrate?" he muttered.

" You could bring me to that stupid sushi restaurant tomorrow." she purred into his ear.

" Finally." he said, kissing her cheek, and she giggled. He smiled. " I never heard you laugh before." he said. " Have you ever laughed before?"

" Once." she said, turning her heel. " It was with a man I used to love."

" Who's that?" he asked.

She turned around, smiling.

" I don't think that has anything to do with you, doesn't it?"

He blinked before grinning back.

" No." he said. " I guess it doesn't."

Behind them, Ejio and Kino high-fived.

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" Please remind me why we're here again, Yoh." Ren said shrewdly.

" I'm still tired from yesterday." Horo Horo yawned.

" What ii this all about, anyway?" Faust asked politely.

" Why are we here?" Manta questioned.

" What? Say hi to a deer?" Chocolove said.

" Can't we do this in the afternoon?" Ryu asked.

" Or possibly never?" Lyserg said angrily. " Why is Hao here?"

Anna quelled all of them with an angry glare before taking a sip of the coffee before her. Everyone was sitting in the coffeehouse at their regular table in the same sitting position as they were when Hao made his previous confession. Yoh gave them all a sheepish grin before resting his chin on his palms. " It was Anna who asked me to call all of you out here." he said to them, and they fell silent. Anna stepped in the middle and dropped Yoh's book on the table with a loud thud, making everyone jump. Hao gave a yawn.

She ignored him.

" You wanted to read us a book?" Ren said with raised eyebrows.

" No." she said. " This is the book that is going to give us all the answers we need about Hao's behavior."

" What, you mean Hao has split-personalities?" Yoh said jokingly.

" That's exactly it, Yoh." she said, and the others stopped laughing. Hao opened a shut eye to look at her. " I borrowed Shamash to look through every scene throughout the last few weeks and I could only come to this conclusion. That would explain why he asked Yoro to teach this story to us anyway."

" Yoro taught us a book just for Hao?" Chocolove said incredulously.

" Yes." Anna said impatiently. " I'm sure all of us has seen the light of Hao's Mr Hyde side. . .and now's the time to see the light of Dr Jekyll. I was wondering why he had made Yoh fail Seika's class. Come to think of it, a lot of classes that we took together ended up miserably. Because. . .because Yoh could not stop staring at me." Anna said quickly, a blush appearing on her cheeks. " Hao made Yoh drop one class just to stop him from being in one class as me. He changed Yoh's failing garde in Maths for him. He made me and Yoh quarrel before another class we took together just so we would sit apart from each other."

" That doesn't prove anything. . ." Ren said loudly.

" Hao used the art of jealousy a lot." she said. " The first one was when he brought Yoh to the nightclub and got him a girl's number. He was banking on my jealousy to confront Yoh; in which we would soon make up. But that would make a hole in our relationship. He's a double-sided agent. That's what I thought of. But Yohmei told me something about him that I think Hao heard too."

Hao's lips curved up into a smile.

" Hao is like the river water. He flows where the current goes. He's at nobody's side, he can be helping you at one moment, and then backstabbing you at another." Anna said. " Another good example is Hao's. . .perverted. . .voodoo. . .trick." she said, now glaring at Yoh venomously, who looked away, blushing. " He didn't want to slip it to me because he was afraid of me falling for Yoh too easily, but later on asked Opacho to give it to Yoh."

" But it contained a drug. . ." Ryu argued.

" It only contained a drug because I removed it wrongly from my body." Anna interrupted. " What Hao told you at the coffeehouse was utter rubbish. I doubt someone would be able to think that far, even if it was Hao Asakura."

Hao bowed, a light grin on his face.

" When he made Ren seduce me, it was to make Yoh jealous. That was a second form of jealousy that Hao concealed within his many ploys."

" That could be merely coincidental." Lyserg argued. " I still don't see how Hao Asakura could be on our side."

" There was this scene when I caught Hao making out with a girl in an empty classroom." she continued, ignoring him. " Hao did so to give me a drug to read Yoh's mind. . ." Yoh let out a startled gasp at this. " He did it for two reasons. One, was for me to find out. . .how. . .perverted. . .Yoh. . .actually. . .was. . ." she said every word like injecting venom through words, and Yoh looked away, blushing. " But on the other hand, it was for me to find out about Yoh's birthday, and to hear about his. . .love for me." she said, her face turning crimson.

Horo turned to Hao, blinking.

" Horo Horo got caught for peeking at the girls showering." Hao said, grinning at the blue-haired boy, taking over from Anna's monologue. " I disappeared from view to not only escape from being impulverised, but to also give Anna and Horo a moment alone to speak. I mind-controlled Horo to compliment her, allow Yoh to see the two of them speaking together. That was no other form of jealousy I used. That's what you found out, wasn't it, Anna?"

" Yes." Anna said steadily. " He tricked me soon after that, too. He asked Yoh to totally ignore me throughout the day after his birthday, which made me. . ." she glanced at Yoh before continuing. " . . .jealous. That was a trick that Hao was fond of using."

" And for a good reason too." Hao said lightly.

" But he's not totally heartless, actually. He knew I would never forgive Yoh at this rate, so he brought a friend of his to try to pick me up so I could just insult him and painfully shoot him down. That made me feel somewhat better." Slightly unwillingly, she gave a swift nod in Hao's direction. He smiled.

" Is that it?" Horo asked. " The argument is pretty thin."

" I have to admit, it is." Anna said. " But there's one point that none of you can deny."

" And what is that?" Ren asked.

" All he wants to be is a good brother." Anna whispered.

There was total silence that followed that.

" When Ren confronted him in the library, he did not get angry when Ren insulted him. He did not get mad when he accused him of trying to take me away. But he got angry when Ren insulted his role as a brother."

Ren blinked.

" The second time when Ren confronted him, Hao was merely toying with him when Ren battled against him. But he hit him with full force when Ren again insulted his role as a brother. Another moment was when the teacher insulted Hao, and said he would not have cried even if his own mother died. Not the same case as the two above, but it still shows he cares for his family members."

Yoh turned to Hao, who was looking back at him.

Yoh smiled.

Hao smiled back.

" Are you guys. . .ready to order now?" came the waitress's voice.

Everyone was staring at Hao in a different light now. Somehow he did not seem so evil and mean. He seemed just like a brother looking out for his sibling. " Yes." Ren said, turning to her. " Give my friend over there a café latte." he said, his eyes never leaving Hao's. Hao blinked.

" No, it's alright. . ." he said.

" No." Ren said, smiling slightly. " It's on me."

Hao blinked.

" Thanks." he said.

" No problem." Ren said, nodding.

Anna and Yoh sneaked a grin at each other.

" Why did you act like you were our enemy if you were on our side all along?" Manta asked Hao curiously. Hao grinned at him. " It's the same thing as the times when we were all fighting for the Shaman King crown. We all wanted it in our own different ways. Some follow the towering rules of the Shaman fight to claim their victory. Many others, however, such as myself, use twisted ways to get to the thing we want. But in the end, we're all after the same thing. To make the things around us better, and to gain what we want. There is no such thing as a bad guy, or a good guy. It's just how you see them and in which light you view them in, that's all."

The others stayed speechless until Ryu clapped him cheerfully on his shoulder.

" Welcome back, you girly-looking freak." he said.

Hao grinned back.

It was at this moment when Hao and Anna's eyes met.

" I see you're not running away again." she said, her lips twitching.

He grinned, a hot cup of latte being placed in his hands by a nearby waitress. He picked it up and gave it a little sip. " There's no use in running a race after you cross the finish line." he said.

" Well said." Manta said cheerfully.

Away from the table, a group of waiters and waitresses smiled at the sight fondly. " It's so nice to see them all friends once again." a waitress said dreamily.

" Yes." another said, smiling. " And something tells me that none of them are planning on going anywhere. Not anywhere except around each other for the time being."

EPILOGUE (6 Months Later)

Kino stood before the closet once more, smiling at it fondly. " The last feather is gone." she muttered. " My work here is accomplished."

" My dear!" came Yohmei's voice from the doorway, and she peered out to look at him. " Here's a wedding invitation to Ren Tao and Pirika's wedding! Those two are finally getting hitched!"

" Oh, is that so?" Kino said, a light twinkle in her eyes. " That's sweet."

Kino peered into the closet, raising his eyebrows at it before smiling at her.

" The last feather of Anna's heart has finally disappeared, hasn't it?" he asked her.

" Yes." she said.

" Sumiko and Hao are planning on going on a vacation together, by the way." Yohmei told her pointedly. " He told me that he wanted to bring he to the place where he was first born."

" Oh, that's sweet." Kino muttered. " And Ejio allowed her to go?"

" Yeah." he said, his lips twitching. " Amazing, I know."

She nodded to herself before turning her heel to walk out, when she noticed a light-feathered bird float past her and disappear out of sight. She raised her eyebrows at it before turning to Yohmei in question. " It's for Hao Asakura." he said sheepishly. " I copied your idea with feathers. . .but birds seemed much more magnificent."

" How original." Kino muttered, stepping out the room. " Get dressed. Yoh and Anna invited us to dinner."

" Be right with you." Yoh mei called out.

He stopped after she disappeared into view before turning back to the remaining birds, all floating ghostly behind him. He let out a small smile. " Silly woman." he muttered, his lips twitching. " Those birds aren't for Hao. . ." he shut the door silently behind him.

" They're for you."

END CHAPTER 25 (FINALE)

Well, this story is finally done! The start, the end. . .everything is finally finished. Please sign my guestbook and give a final vote in my polls on my website. Thank you, I would like it very much. I might have some one-shot sequels or prequels to this story, but I believe this will be the finale. This story is done. It is finished. It is completed. Thanks to every reader who reviewed this story, I appreciate every single one from the bottom of my heart. Thank you for supporting 'A Girl Called Anna'. Thank you for your time, your reviews. . .but most importantly you love for the story. I could not have done it without every single one of you. This is the end. Please read and review.

ReViEwEr Shrine (Arranged in order from the first reviewer of Chapter 1)

BlackIcyRoses My First reviewer, pendulumxswing, azimataiji, YohandAnna4ever, tone, hannah-asakura, King of Chaos, blackyuki, skf, sakura-light-angel, Anna, Anni, Jojo-Kyoyama, Lushi, Peacemaker, Orphen27, hannami08, Kay, rumia, mysterious, Apple-rin, Tochigo, ShadowFia, Mrs Asakura Hao, Kirsten, FionnaKreuz, Exploded Toilet Bowl, racer, catesy, darkmidnightsky, ANNA KYOUYAMA A, Anna, Anna The Ice Queen Itako, merissala, Galatria57, HaNaGuMi, superskittles123, xxmoonlight-angelxx, LittLetriXta, YohandAnna4ever, Baby Kaoru Sama, Sakura Hanamoto, YumeTakato, merissala, Mrs Asakura Hao, Frank S, I LUV Anime 0.0, KrayZi, Furu Rawr, Mikauzoran, SpIkYtrIaNgLeS, cherry, The Shaman King, charl, I-Smiles-U, jess, Iria, Apple, Hope Usui, KristiexxNguyen, left-alone, Galatria57, quill, bluemoon88, eva, kaoru-chan01, candee, Hao Kyouyama, Destiny13, D3m0n Slay3r, Furu Rawr, ValleyGurl369, LittLetriXta, .evanglade., Felix-samma, Harmony8390, cherryblossom, azngirlchibi, Miakoda13, Anime master Inu, kawaiisaru07, water spear 38972, plastic bag 411, graceful miko, b0bo-the-sword, GlobalDomination, Nikki09, flay, lale, Hakono, distantdreamer, devious-chan, Pink-poring10, JWM, Goodieblanker, Tochigo, xluvmonax, LittLetriXta, Soul of the Xcalibar, anime-obsession260, SophisticatedAlexir, uncle T, pheenixgirl, ShadowSpirit2, smiley's chaos, Yona57, left-alone, Lovely Red Rose, xluvmonax, kenshinfan2000, Kirashakisama, bianca s, jan-i-am, yoh x anna x hao lover, Xeno, Sexual-Itako, Lyra-san, kagome1316, dragutza, menchi, liftedshadows, megumichan13, Nikki09, LittLetriXta, GothicShamaness13, aNgeLoFdArknEssmaRie-chAn, Ireru no Miko, kkkkkitty, SophisticatedAlexir, anangelslife, Black-Trinity, j o a n n 3, Arihdni, hellfire master, dreamer, Ashley, ChIcKeNnUgGeTs009, Ryuu no Taiyo, Shadowchan, Chitori, Hoppy-Chan, GothMistress, StarlitxIcexGoddess9074, smiley's chaos, Bisuke, Warm-Ice, AMOUNGTHELEAFS, xenphRAGEum, ShAmAnGiRl, Tsukia Malleo, hao-sama-rawks, xenphRAGEum, myster93, SonnyGoten, sazzy1, nana, feathertop, Hao PERVENT FAN, vinkon, thoughtless dreamer, Kkornelia, ShadowdragonLady, Particles of Sand, EnV, smiley's chaos, SleepyPanda, gangsta, Chaoswizkid, Serena, Lady-Azura, animebookworm44, ShadowdragonLady, Yona57, SonnyGoten, Eliza, E-CLIPES, Karia Ithilai, Anica14x14, Ryuu no Taiyo, Yumenori, The Karlminion, powerslikepryde66, Brok3nRagd0ll, Bisuke, silversnow14, zack Amazing. The last review I received was for chapter 1 once again. Cool.