The next morning, Hao woke up as he always did; with a jolt. He could never remember waking up slowly to a new morning. It was always fast and instantaneous. Even though he could sometimes fall back asleep, the occasions were few and far between and usually meant that he had lost strength and needed it back.

He got up and ready, a more normal routine he had never experienced before. It was always waking up and then plotting or carrying out his plans. Never before had he just woken up with nothing to do. Nothing to plan, nothing to carry out. It was him and the day and that was it. A very small part of him liked that, the rest of him wanted to heal faster so he could get his spirit energy back up but he knew that he had a long way to go before he could even think about making it on his own.

He walked into the hall and shut the door to his room quietly, taking great care not to disturb Anna. He knew that she would not regret having any excuse to attack him and he didn't intend to give her one. Not until he knew he could win, anyways.

"Morning!" a cheerful voice said behind him. Hao turned around with a slightly irritated glare and found himself face to face with Yoh.

"Good morning," Hao said stiffly.

"Mm, it is good, isn't it?" Yoh asked. "Good morning then."

Hao resisted the urge to roll his eyes. He didn't know if Yoh did it on purpose or not but whenever he acted like that it annoyed him to no end. "What are you doing?" Hao asked.

"I don't know," Yoh said while putting a finger to his lips in a thoughtful pose. "Is there anything you want to do?"

"Not particularly," Hao replied. "Why?"

"Well, I was thinking maybe we could do something you wanted to do today," Yoh answered simply. "What do you like to do?"

Hao smirked, then gave Yoh a sadistic grin and stepped forward suddenly, forcing Yoh to take a step back. "Kill weak people," he said softly.

Yoh blinked, a little surprised then to Hao's astonishment his face broke into a grin. "Ha ha, that's funny Hao," he said. "Sorry, but we can't do that today," he said cheerfully.

"What?" Hao blinked. "I was serious!"

"I know," Yoh said simply. "And I was too. Because I don't know any weak people," he said with another silly grin and took a hold of Hao's arm. "Come on, I want you to try something."

"What?" Hao asked as he found himself being unwillingly pulled somewhere by Yoh. "Wait, I never…"

"We're going out!" Yoh said really quickly and left the house before Anna could come and tell him to train.

When they were a safe distance from the house, Amidamaru appeared in a cold rush of wind. "Yoh-dono, Anna-dono is going to be very upset when you get back," he said softly.

"Well, that's when we get back," Yoh answered. "This is now. Let's go," he said cheerfully but Hao pulled his arm back.

"No," Hao said. "Where are we going?"

"To get some ice cream," Yoh said simply.

Hao paused and the silence in the air built up to the point of tangibility. "What?" he asked.

"Have you ever had ice cream?" Yoh asked.

"Of course I…" Hao paused. "I think I have," he said softly, looking concerned. "Actually…"

Yoh chuckled and grabbed Hao by the wrist again. "Come on. Its hot and getting ice cream is one of my favorite ways to…"

"Beat the heat?" Hao finished for him before Yoh could.

Yoh nodded, "Yeah."

Hao sighed and resigned himself to fate once again, telling himself that when the time came it would all pay off. "Fine," he said. "Let's go."

Yoh's smile broadened and he let go of Hao's wrist, knowing that Hao would follow him. The two ended up at a small shop with a kindly looking old woman at the counter. Yoh cheerfully ordered two ice-cream cones with both chocolate and vanilla while Hao stood in a corner trying to keep his 'upset' look.

Yoh walked over with the purchases and handed one to Hao. "Here you go," he said cheerfully and licked his own. "It's really good."

Hao looked at the frozen treat like he would something he knew was laced with poison and took a tentative bite and shivered.

Yoh burst out laughing and Hao glared at him. "No, you don't bite ice-cream," Yoh told him as if he was three. "You lick it," Yoh said and exaggerated the motion.

Hao resisted the urge to put his ice-cream cone on Yoh's head for treating him like that and licked the cone with contempt. To his amazement it tasted good. Surprisingly he never had ice-cream before, or if he did he didn't remember it. Probably somewhere deep in his mussed memories of his lives he had one of eating ice-cream but it felt good to know that the 'first' time was something that no one of importance had seen.

"See, it's good," Yoh told him while watching Hao's expression.

"It's okay," Hao said simply and continued to lick the cone as they set back out into the summer heat.

Yoh nodded his agreement and together they walked silently, licking their ice-cream cones as Amidamaru hovered behind them.

When the ice-cream was finished, Yoh took to looking Hao over to see if he could spot any differences. He was looking better at least, which was good. He was also starting to get stronger but not at a rate that he needed to worry any time soon. He had time to try and help Hao, which was good as well. He needed time, if he was going to achieve anything.

Hao ran his fingers through his long hair and sighed. Yoh noted this and finally a question he had wondered for a long time came up. "Have you ever cut your hair?" he asked suddenly.

Hao blinked at the out of the blue question and it took him a moment to register it. "No…" he said slowly. "I don't think I have. Why?"

Yoh eyed Hao's impressive mane. "Doesn't it get… hot?" he asked.

Hao shrugged. "I'm the master of the spirit of fire," he said simply.

Yoh stroked his chin. "This is true," he said softly. "But still… it has to be heavy."

"It's fine," Hao growled. "Besides, if I cut my hair, I'd look like you."

"You do look like me," Yoh pointed out.

"I'd look more like you," Hao answered exasperatedly.

Yoh looked up in thought. He grinned and started to laugh. "Anna would kill us if you cut you hair."

"Probably," Hao said with a frown. "It'd be odd though…" he said while entertaining the thought of cutting his hair for the first time.

"Interesting," Amidamaru offered.

"I'm fine with it though," Hao said simply. He was to, there was nothing wrong with his hair as far as he could tell.

"Maybe you could pull it back though?" Yoh suggested. "For the summer at least."

"Maybe…" Hao replied thoughtfully. "It may help."

Yoh nodded, "It would," he decided.

Hao blinked, "How did we get into a discussion about my hair?"

"I was wondering about it and I asked," Yoh replied. "And you answered. Just a normal conversation."

"A normal… conversation," Hao replied slowly. "Yeah," he nodded. "Still…"

"Don't worry," Yoh said cheerfully. "Amidamaru and I have conversations like this all the time. It's normal," he teased.

It took Hao a few seconds to realize that Yoh was teasing him. His cheeks colored slightly as he snapped "Shut up," at Yoh.

Yoh laughed and picked up the pace. "Come on, let's go home," he said.

"Home?" Hao asked suddenly.

"Yeah, home. Like where Anna is, and where you've been sleeping for the past three days," Yoh said. "Home."

Hao shrugged and trotted after Yoh. "Home indeed," he snorted even though secretly he was touched that Yoh had referred to it as their home. His home.

But… home implied that it was a place he was welcome and he knew that it was anything but. Perhaps though, Yoh welcomed him.

That was Yoh fault though, for trusting him like that. Yoh had no right referring to it as their home.

His home.

It was still a nice thought, Hao ventured as they walked back to where Anna was waiting.


I know this fic isn't exactly popular but Hao is fun to write and Yoh is... Yoh so I will continue. For the... 2 or 3 of you reading this, hope you liked the chapter.