Disclaimer: I do not own Shaman King. If I did, do you really think I would be writing this nonsense?
Warnings: Shounen-Ai, violence, minor characters' deaths, spoiler for the end of Shaman King anime, a little bit of bad language in some places.
A/N: This is my first Shaman King fic. Considering that there aren't many Yoh/Amidamaru stories, I decided to write one. I hope I didn't put too much of Zeke/'Maru nonsense here (that's weird, I know:) Reviews will be much appreciated! P.S. All names are taken from anime, not from the manga, so don't shout at me that Len is Ren and etc.
His face is so close, that the desire to spit, to wipe off the snake grin, hidden in the corners of his lips, becomes irresistible. But no, I must not. Too much is lost for the sake of this day. Too much blood is shed… Stop at once. No more thoughts. My mask should not fail, for second chances are rarely given.
God knows, how long I've been waiting. I'm a sinner now, the one, for whom even hell would seem a heaven. You can laugh and call me a heartless bastard, but to hell with dignity and honor. The end justifies the means. This is the truth I now follow. Cruel? Sure. But what else was left for me?
It's not the end, though. Of my ordeals. You still test me. Even after so many month of the loyal serving. Oh, of course I was not under you supervision. But do you really think I've missed the glances you send me? You want the same as I want. And barely with less passion.
For you - it's a triumph. For me - the only possible way. And that's why I have to concentrate.
- You want this so much, spirit? Why?
A good question. A careful, penetrating gaze. You always look that way. Even at those, who were with you since the beginning. It seems like you can read minds sometimes. And so I must not lie. Or you will notice. Damn you.
- To be with you, my Lord… It's what I need.
You smirk in response. Of course, it's not the proper answer you demand. But you pretend to ponder, at the same time eyeing the Circle of Totems, where your Spirit of Fire ingested the Great Spirit. The place for our little chat you chose well. Here you started to build the New World, we now live in. Here stands the tombstone with a half-carved name of your brother.
I have to admit, it's kind of irritating. But these years didn't leave me unchanged. Perhaps, if you summoned me earlier, I wouldn't be so… prepared. But not now. I won't take the bait. Once I almost failed. I was not so fast in killing Chloe, or, at least, you accused me of being so. I have no rights to make mistakes anymore.
And so I plead you. Let us both get what we want.
- Well then, spirit. Let it be your way. Tomorrow. Tomorrow morning you are to fight. If you succeed…
Oh, my Lord, how can you say that! I will not disappoint you.
- I'll make you my Guardian…
Got you. Well, almost. I only have to survive tomorrow. Judging by your smirk, I'll have to kill someone again. But it's beside the point. My hands are already washed with blood anyway.
- Oh, and we should choose a new name for you. The old one… grates on my ears.
Sure, my Lord. Amidamaru the Traitor is to your service. From now on and forever.
Year III. Day II of the Age of Rebellion.
Well. It was unexpected. I could say, even genius. But I don't want to flatter you. You see, all villains do so. Strike painfully. Fortunately, my immunity is pretty stable. Two years of groveling before you served me well.
God, what am I thinking about? God, I've just killed Len. I killed Mosuke. Today. At dawn.
But now I'm your Spirit Guardian. You even call me just so. Spirit.
An ugly name. Not a name, really. But I can't say, that it doesn't suit me.
Faceless. Lonely. Assassin.
And there's no end to this.
Sometimes I catch myself thinking, that it's not you. It's he. The one, whose body has, for sure, rotted under the onslaught of constant rains, which started when the new Era began.
He hadn't even thought of getting you a coffin. Just threw you in the pit, dug by his Spirit of Fire. I was there. I stood there and watched how your fragile body stretched unnaturally over the moist ground, and hair mixed with dirt.
And, perhaps, I was the only one, who, by that time, understood, that you're gone. They screamed and screamed, laughing and crying called for you, straining their voices.
Anna fell first. Or, to be precise, second after you. I still see how she, disappearing behind the screen of fire, squeezes the beads, holding them close to her heart. I soared behind his back. I saw and heard everything. She did not scream. Gods, she was looking at me. Without any astonishment, hatred, that now shines in the eyes of the others. Maybe, she understood. Maybe, she'd guessed somehow. I don't know. But I want to believe in it. Just for a second to get rid of my loneliness.
And that's why I force myself not to think about you. Because he isn't you. And you're not he.
Madness. Pure madness.
You know, serving you isn't so hard as I thought it would be. I would rather say, it's easy, if not for my memories of the moment you stole the soul of the one, precious to me.
Many say, that you're crazy. And I can't deny it. The way you annihilated the humanity… Oh, yes. Rivers were red from blood. Only shamans were allowed to live. Those, who resisted, were locked behind the metal bars forever. Those, like Anna, were killed at once.
You know, only today I understood, why you made me fight with Len and Mosuke. Mosuke was always my best friend. I'd even expected to see him. I was ready. And I killed him. Bound, then held him, while your Spirit of Fire was enjoying his breakfast.
But for Len… I wasn't ready. More like thought to see Faust or Ryo. After all, you knew that back to the time of the tournament we fought together, in one team. Oh, you took me by surprise.
There, in the field, where the fight was just about to begin, at dawn, when the first rays of sun lit the small and thin figure, standing in front of me, trying t raise the sword with trembling and broken fingers, I did not see Len. It was like I was back to that day when I'd lost him. And I had to imagine it was You to be able to kill.
He didn't even fight back. Just grinned. And that's why he had won. Because his blood is on my conscience.
But I want to tell you, that I did not break. And you're now trapped. In my trap.
We both can play in this game, my Lord.
You be cursed.
Wow, I'd never have thought that your Fire Spirit has feelings. But judging by his behavior, he's… jealous. Of me. Isn't that funny?
We, spirits, can't read minds. But we can feel the danger close to us. It seems he sensed it. Sensed me.
Well then, pace if you want, Spirit of Fire. I know, that you're stronger. But you can't talk. And your master likes to talk with me. You are too boring to him. You have fulfilled your destiny anyway.
Pace, spirit. Pace and annoy him.
It's to my liking.
You are laughing. Oh, how I hate you. But I laugh with you. Because it needs to be done.
Today I saw them. Horohoro and Ryo, Pilika and Tamara, Joco, Lyserg, Marco, Jun. Many others.
Trey kept on dashing on the bars until his shoulder started bleeding. Until Ryo, with all his last might, dragged him away. In the dirty corner of their cell, and held him, while Trey cried.
They hate me even more, than they hate you. See the irony here? It's to my liking too.
Because you stood near me. You watched as I was laughing at Trey's attempts to get out of the cell.
Because you, finally, is convinced in my loyalty.
Because I, myself, merged with the mask I wear so fully, that I can't trust myself anymore.
Who am I?
I hold you in my arms, and you tremble. You were almost killed a few moments ago. By a group of shamans, led by Kalim. I did not hesitate. Not for a second. I killed them all. Fools, I won't let anyone destroy my plan.
And you still tremble, fingers clinging to my sleeves. You, the Lord of the World, you, the most powerful shaman on Earth, tremble in the hands of the Spirit, who hates you. Yes, hates. But not now. Now you're too much like him. Warm and human. It's unbearable.
I guess tomorrow someone's blood will be shed. Tons of blood, I have no doubt. Even my life will depend on how I'll behave myself.
By the way… Look at how your precious guards vanished. Where is your faithful Fire Spirit, hmm?
You don't know what fear is, don't you? You had no time to be scared. You were always on the alert. And now, when the New World is finally completed, you just have no more wishes. Ruling became boring. Isn't it so, my Lord? I know. I can see it.
But don't be afraid, my Lord. Tonight I'm with you. Sleep now. I will guard you dreams.
You fall asleep, still not letting go of my hand.
Hmm… Impressive. Blood covered the whole round floor of your castle.
Today you put on that white cloak, which you used to wear during the tournament. At dusk it changed its color on bloody-red completely.
You got up early, still holding my hand. You tossed your head, and fury was bathing in your eyes. Of course, I forgot. You, the Great and Terrible can't be human.
But my cold mask did save me again. I haven't let any thought slip through it. And you assessed it properly. I walked on a thin line and succeeded.
Where I was lucky, the Fire Spirit failed. You took away all his powers. You killed him. You slaughtered all your guard. You, using necromancy, gave life to Kalim and made him watch how your other servants played with his friends' bodies. And then you killed him.
But before his death came, he raised his eyes and looked at me, and his lips whispered: "Traitor…" Again and again they did.
And all I could do was grin.
You didn't leave the Circle of Totems at all this month. And all, who dared to come near you closer than one kilometer, were injured pretty badly. Even Opacho found himself in disgrace.
I'm the only exception. And it's really funny.
What do you think about, sitting on the tombstone of your brother? I want to know the answer. Because the glances you cast at me are somewhat suspicious. It's as if you're trying to decide something.
Well then. Sit if you want. But you better find another place and leave the tombstone. I'm getting angry.
No. I have to stop myself. Otherwise I'll be gone into fits of hysteria.
I think I'm tired.
And how should I answer you question? Of course, I remember. So clearly as if it was my death.
That day it was raining. I remember one of your lackeys made me train the youth, despite the bad weather. And then, suddenly, from the Star Sanctuary arose the column of smoke and fire. Everyone ran there. Only to find you, surrounded by a heap of dead bodies. Well, as usually. But something was different. And you were sitting on that something, sitting on a ridiculously big stone.
You laughed and, caressing the cold smooth surface with your fingers, said:
- Fools, to give away their lives so as to bring this nonsense. My brother must be rolling in his grave. Do you hear this, brother? They even haven't time to carve your name properly. Nevertheless, such sacrifice deserves my admiration. Do not touch the stone. Let it stand.
It was raining. And everyone had gone. I had to go too. Without turning back.
It was much later when I understood the reasons of your particular magnanimity that day. The name, carved only on half. Kind of throne on which you like to sit. The pure gibe.
But I still don't get it. Why have you made me remember that day? Just another test?
Don't even dream of it.
Man, something seems to go on among your own people. I don't like this. Well, no, of course, I'm glad beyond measure that the rows of your dirty bastards are going to thin out when you'll find out about their uprising and kill all the participants. But I, personally, am worried about you. Damn Kalim almost slaughtered you. If not for my watch…
So, who leads them? Maybe, I should check myself. You're on the alert, I know, but the blow usually comes when you're not ready for it. I have to find out everything.
And when I do - I'll tell you. Shirt, I hate stool pigeons. But we are at war, aren't we?
Hate. Myself too.
Well-well-well... You say, humans are useless, my Lord? Mortimer. Morty. Shirt, it hurts.
How did he manage to switch places with Opacho, hmm? Ancient magic, I suppose. But where is Opacho, then? Oh, to hell with him.
For four years I've been thinking that Morty had died in the Last battle, killed by the Spirit of Fire. And now reality strikes painfully again. Because I have to squeal on him to my Lord. And he will kill Morty. But if I won't tell anything, Mortimer has all the chances to destroy my Master. God.
I curse you, Shaman King. I curse you again.
You turned furious. Strange as it seems, you believed me at once. I'm so sorry, Morty.
Gods, I don't know whomever to thank. But the punishment for other rioters was much more painful, than the punishment for their leader.
We, ourselves, led Morty to the cell, where others are locked. And they became gloomy. Somehow… they knew. It was what saved Morty's life.
Because, surely, you wouldn't give them such pleasure. Of meeting an old friend. You would have killed Morty. In front of their eyes.
But to be caged like an animal without any hope for freedom - it's different. It's… worse.
I'm sorry, Morty. I know that you had to change too, to kill many things deep down in yourself. But I could not let you win.
Because you reconciled yourself to his death. And I… I did not.
You know, it hurts. To be a Protector. And you trust me.
You believe me. You smile to me. You're laughing with me. You fall asleep, and your head is resting on my lap. Warm and defenseless you are. And in the morning I comb your hair. And when you look at me, your eyes are shining.
Just like him. And that's why it's hard to betray. Because I suddenly saw something human in you.
Sometimes, I feel myself ready to give up. To send to hell everything and live as I do now.
But then… I remember the tombstone. I remember how Anna holds her beads. How Chloe's body shakes in my hands. How Trey jumps at the bars. How Len grins. And how desperately Morty fights.
I open my eyes. And hate you again, my Lord.
It's... not true. It's too... much to take in. Don't you understand that you've just a minute ago sentenced yourself to death?
Gods, but I wanted it. I pleaded for it. Silently. Now I have a chance. A chance, for which I did so much. So much blood I shed.
Then, why... Why does it hurt?
You let me go to the desert. To train. To merge with my new power.
Now I'm the most powerful spirit on Earth. Now all the powers which belonged to Fire Spirit are mine. I'm so strong now, that I can keep up my material form without any efforts. I'm... I feel myself alive. And it's such a present, that I'm not able to describe it. I feel, I eat, I breath. As if I'm really alive.
You are too kind with those who are faithful to you, my Lord. And I'm a heartless bastard. Because I'm going to kill you.
Today you arranged a show execution one more time.You got tired and went to sleep early. You said:
- Thanks, Amidamaru.
My throat became parched immediately. But I asked:
- Whatever for, my Lord?
To hear my name was quite a painful event. I thought you'd forgotten it long ago. You always called me the "Spirit".
- For being with me. Thank you.
And I had to put off everything again. Because even the most horrible memories were crushed by this word.
I hate you. Sincerely.
That's it. There's no point in waiting anymore. I became too much mired in what you are now. Thoughts jump and I can't sort them out. Insanity is right beside the corner of tomorrow. And I'm really tired. Three years of blood. Three years of fear and longing to revenge. Three years of hell.
But as they say, it's easier said than done. You sleep like a baby. You believe me. And every night I look at you and I don't dare to bring myself to do it.
I know what I have to do. I will enter your consciousness and find Him.
You are a fool. The connection between a shaman and his spirit is unbreakable. And I feel that he is still somewhere there. He was always strong. And you could not ingest his soul, despite that both of you are of a same bloodline. He lives in you.
That's why, sleep, my Lord.
You'll never wake up again.
Your eyes swing open. I even guess how your pupils widen in fear. You sensed the intrusion, didn't you? But it's too late. I found him. And all, what needs to be done, is to make a cage for you. Of which you'll never get out.
You don't resist. Because you feel, that you'll never make it in time. You've only just left the world of dreams. Sleepy and defenseless. What force can you oppose to the most powerful spirit on Earth? The only tear falls down your cheek.
- Amida... maru... Why?
I don't look in your eyes. I cry, my face hidden in your long hair. Damn, I'm crying for the first time in three years. And I whisper in your ear:
- Come back to me, Yoh. Come back to me.
Dawn is approaching. I hear drops of rain, falling behind the window.
Finally, the year is over.
You've changed completely. You don't laugh anymore. Just sit on my tombstone from dusk till dawn and notice nobody, except for me.
When I got the guys out of the cell, when they, finally, believed that I'd returned, the first question was: "Where is the traitor?" They didn't even listen to me, rushed into the Star Sanctuary at once. To revenge for Len. But you didn't face them. Just turned in your spirit form and sat, while they, unable to do anything, spoke their minds. But I knew, that you heard every word.
When I come to you, barely finding time from my duties of the King, you raise your head and force yourself to smile. I take a seat near you. And so we just sit there, even if rain falls.
There's still much to be done. To rebuild the world, to heal the wounds, to find our places in this world. But, you know, Amidamaru, I'm tired too. Of being lost in my brother's soul, of fighting. Listen, Amidamaru, when Morty will be ready to take my place, we'll run away. Together. Ok?
Have I just said it aloud? You smile and caress my hand. I blush. And I can't and simply don't want to stop you, when you imperously catch my wrists and draw me closer.
Doesn't it seem... insane a little bit, hmm? I'm sitting on my own grave and kissing furiously under the rain with the man, who died several centuries ago.
What? You want me to cut my hair. Sure. Just had no time to do it. Of course, I will.
I'll do everything for you. Because I have nobody, but you.
I think I love you.
Perhaps, you love me too.
So... wait a little, Ok? I'm yours, Amidamaru. Just like you're mine.
And if we are really cursed, than I don't know what blessing is.
My... Amidamaru. Mine?