Hello! I've been reading Shaman King lately. I had heard about it from a very good friend of mine a while ago, and I remember her squealing about Hao and Yoh being so totally perfect for each other. I also remember just nodding my head and smiling, seeing as I had no idea who these characters were and it's usually just best to agree with this particular friend, or any fangirl for that matter. Haha. Well, all the same, I had run out of things to read and remembered that the main character of Shaman King was sort of adorable. This led to my current fangirl status. Because of this friend, I am definitely now a Hao X Yoh fangirl, as opposed to the Amidamaru X Yoh fan that I was before Hao and his smexy ass showed up.

DISCLAIMER: If Shaman King belonged to me, I would get off my ass and finish the damn manga series. It's been abandoned since 2004, so that idea's shot.

I used to cry myself to sleep

And fear the darkness yet to come

The pain and fear, it all would keep

And add up to a vicious sum.

So when broke dawn and sacred day

By light of Sun and Grace of God

I'd welcome morn – O, come what may!

The night –its dark- should be outlaw'd.

The thing, though, can't be escaped

It comes for you in hours past

To leave your soul bared and raped

A life like this shall never last.

Yoh Asakura was the type of kid who didn't really think before doing things. Or maybe it was that he thought too much. Whatever the case was, he would often be seen doing only one of several things: staring off into space, listening to music, eating, sleeping, or watching the sky. His schedule very rarely deviated from these things. All were rather pensive activities, something you would expect of Buddhist monks, not a fifteen-year-old. However, most were also the basic things that everyone did to survive, which one could argue showed a rather pathetic lack of thought put into Yoh's daily activities. Yoh, on the other hand, just did what suited him and ignored the rest of civilization.

So, naturally, when a person comes along who can really grab his attention, that person tends to be thought of as a God.

This was precisely what happened when the transfer student, Hao Asakura, joined Yoh's high school classes. Hao was the new kid in school, but somehow, over the course of five minutes, he had become easily the most popular kid in school.

Here's how he had achieved this: He had walked in the doors with his long, dark brown hair, big, beautiful eyes, sweet face, and massive earrings and single-handedly attracted the attention of every single girl there – even the gay ones, seeing as they had high hopes that he might actually be a very hot woman. Well, if it was Hao, he could pull it off. The males, needless to say, felt a little offended that someone like Hao could just snap away their girlfriends' attentions, so they decided to gang up on him and try to pull his long feminine hair. Hao had proved himself more than capable of taking care of himself, which naturally meant that the total injuries of three boys included two broken arms, five broken legs, one cracked rib, six black eyes, fourteen bruises, and other assorted injuries that none of the participants looked forward to explaining to their parents or the school nurse, who was a notorious gossip. Once that had been successfully taken care of, most of the school was either in love with him or trying desperately to get him on their sports team. So, in all actuality, it had taken not five minutes to dominate the school, but three. It had just taken two minutes to spread throughout the ears of every person. Every person but Yoh Asakura, seeing as he had been listening to his music and had not been present at this grand arrival. Yoh Asakura didn't have a chance to prepare himself for the inevitable.

Yoh Asakura was in deep shit.

"Yoh…. Yoh? YOOOOOOOOH." Eventually Manta gave up and yanked Yoh's headphones back off of his ears. Yoh raised a questioning eyebrow at the considerable shorter boy. The eyebrow said that he wasn't mad, but would rather like to know what was so important that the music had to go away. "Class is starting. You'll really fail if you keep this up, and that means that Anna will finally chain you to the doghouse like she's been threatening for the last two weeks," Manta informed his friend. Yoh's eyes widened. He had totally forgotten Anna's proposal, seeing as she made so many threats so often.

"Thanks," he said, turning his headphones off all the way.

"No problem." Manta dashed around another two desks to reach his own just in time for the teacher to throw open the door.

"Students, as many of you doubtlessly already know, we have a new student today," she said, being good friends with the school nurse who was always somewhat loose of tongue. "Asakura-kun, please come in." Yoh's face twitched in mild surprise.

Those belonging to the female and jock portions of the student body made worshipful sounds as the boy walked into the class, toting a few brand-new books and a binder that looked painfully tidy and well organized. Hao looked totally unconcerned with the responses he was getting from his face alone.

Manta was, unfortunately, surrounded solely by girls and jocks, so there was quite a bit of worshipping happening on his end of the room. He looked uncomfortably around, wondering what the hell was so great about some new guy. Maybe, if the teacher was willing to let it slide today, he would grab the desk next to Yoh and let the new kid sit with his many admirers…

"My name is Asakura Hao. I look forward to working with you all. I will try not to drag the class down as best I may," he said blandly. "Which desk should I occupy?"

The teacher blushed faintly herself and pointed. "The desk next to Asakura-kun, please." Hao gave the woman an 'are you really sure you meant to say what you said' look. "Oh! No, not you, Asakura-kun, the other Asakura-kun. Asakura-kun, will you please raise your hand, if you can hear me over your music this time?"

Yoh jumped up instantaneously. "I'm Asakura Yoh. Nice to have you with us. Would it be okay if the class called you Hao-san? Hao-kun? Something so that the two of us don't get confused?" The class stared. First off, a shocking amount of the time, Yoh never heard instructions given by the teacher and of course did not obey them, let alone in so prompt a manner. Second, because of this slacker-esque habit, most people did not really talk to him. That being said, if no one spoke to him, he didn't speak. Manta was one of the only ones in their grade who spoke to him, and even Manta received only a few sparse words. To hear Yoh speaking in complete sentences – plural! – was something that was quite literally unheard of.

Hao smiled. "Of course. It would follow, judging from how simple it would be to mix us up." And it was true. Name and face matched perfectly.

"Are you two related or something?" a cheerleader asked. "Twins or something?"

"No. Never met him a day in my life," they responded simultaneously. Their voices melded perfectly. It almost sounded like one voice, much how the voices of Tweedledee and Tweedledum did in Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There. They turned to stare at each other. It freaked Yoh out and surprised Hao. Silently, for no words were needed, they agreed to never speak in unison again.

"Ah, well, Asak- er, Hao-san, please take your seat. Class will be starting now," the teacher said.

Hao did as instructed.

Yoh was left with a very fast-beating heart and complete confusion in his mind. Even without his music blaring, concentrating on the lesson was going to prove to be impossible.

"I'm telling you, you're cursed now!! There's a legend about people's Doppelgangers you know! A Doppelganger is a person in the world with your face and your voice, and when you see your Doppelganger, you're supposed to die in the next 24 hours!!" Manta cried at lunch. "Yoh, it's been really wonderful knowing you. Good luck."

"No way I'm dying," Yoh said with an easy smile. He pushed an orange slice into his mouth whole.

"Easy for you to say. Don't say I didn't warn you."

"Thanks for your concern."

"But wow. I didn't think he'd get this much attention. That Hao kid. Just goes to show."

"Just goes to show what?"

"The pretty faces get it all," Manta sighed and covered his own face with his arms.

"Pretty… faces?"

"Yeah. Don't let it go to your head. Actually, that's a good point. If you guys have the same face, how come you're not as popular as he is?"

A passing colour guard girl wrapped her arms around Yoh's shoulders, laughing. "That's because Hao-sama is hot."

"And I'm not?" Yoh asked, somehow not concerned by the fact that a big-busted girl he didn't know too well was latched onto his back and hugging him. He was used to being the surrogate son of every girl in the school.

"No, baby. You're cute in that impossibly adorable way. Think of it as the difference between a romantic guy and a raw power kind of guy. Me, I go for the cute types like you, but something about Hao-sama gets even my types fangirling over him. He's hot, baby." She kissed him on the cheek and ran to meet up with her friends.

Manta shot Yoh a dangerous look. "Look at you. Even you get them crawling all over you. I don't know how you do it, you slimy bastard."

Yoh just laughed.

"Do you even know that girl?"

"Not really."

"Not really? Do you at least know her name?"

"I think it's Celestine."

"Know anything else about her?"

"She's got a boyfriend in the art club named Nihil."

"… I hate you."

"I see." Yoh just kept at his extensive store of citrus.

Manta's head jerked up as a metal tray was slid across the coarse lunchtable.

"Hello. Mind too badly if I sit with you two? I don't really know anyone here other than Yoh-san," Hao said, smiling lightly. Manta froze up, but Yoh answered easily.

"Sure. We don't mind. It's gotta be hard trying to assimilate into another school," Yoh said.

"Oh, not really. The classes I've been assigned so far have proved to be very accommodating."

"I'll bet they have," Manta muttered.



"And please," Yoh said, "Don't call me Yoh-san. It makes me feel uncomfortable; always has. Just Yoh's fine. I'm a pretty laid-back guy, so it won't be that weird if you call me that, even if you're new."

"On one condition," Hao said, sliding the comment in smoothly.

Yoh raised an eyebrow. "This condition being…?"

"Refer to me with no honorifics, either. I'm not the type to do anything halfway. If I don't use honorifics, neither should you."

"Done deal," Yoh said, extending a hand.

The two shook on it, and despite the innocent subject, Manta, looking on, couldn't help but compare it to a Deal with the Devil.

School had been over for four hours and Yoh had no intention of going home as of yet. It was winter, so twilight had already come and gone, leaving only the beautiful, clear skies behind. Perhaps stargazing was a good hobby to have, but most people were expected to do so from the comfort of their homes or backyards.

Most people were not expected to hang around derelict graveyards for any purpose, really.

Yoh was different, as usual. He sat on the tombstone of a young woman who had died three hundred years ago in childbirth with twins and stared, unblinking, at the stars as Chris Brown songs filled the air around his head. Yoh felt completely at peace. It was one of the few times a day that he really could feel whole, and this time was little different. The only thing that had changed had been Yoh's thoughts. Normally, Yoh didn't think too much on things. Normally, not much happened to him, so being pensive was of no use and considered a bit of a waste of time. This time, though, something remarkably interesting had happened. Yoh's eyes broke contact with the stars as he stared at his own hand. Ever since touching the other boy, his hand had been aching. Just the quick handshake had filled him with the most wonderful sensation he'd felt in a very, very long time. He was sure that he'd felt it before, but couldn't for the life of him put his finger on where or when. Since, his hand had longed for the touch once more until the point where it had begun to ache. Or perhaps it was aching with the cold. Who could tell? He crossed the fingers of his left and right hands, looking for all the world like a child deep in prayer. Hao's hand had been the same size with the same firm grip that he had felt earlier. Shouldn't it have been the same? But no. Something vital was missing. He only felt like Yoh now, as he had been throughout his life. There had been something alien in the touch, something that Yoh ached to feel again, and soon.

As if answering his mock prayers, a hand – no, the hand – clamped gently around Yoh's left shoulder.

Yoh's head lifted and turned to face the other boy. He stared into the Hao's dark, fathomless eyes and forgot to breathe.


"And what?" Yoh asked.

"What are you doing here, of all places, in the middle of the night? Surely your family is worried about you?" Hao asked.

Yoh took a soft, but audible breath and turned his face away to gaze back up at the heavens. "I was looking at them. They're never so clear as they are in this town. People are really looking to conserve electricity in this town, so all the lights go off after a certain time, and you can see everything. It's quite breathtaking, really. And it's always nice to stargaze with others. It would be a shame if they got lonely." Yoh prayed that Hao wouldn't think he had gone mad for talking about people that undoubtedly the other couldn't see. Most people who found out doubted his sanity. Even so, Yoh was never the type to hide things, so he just hoped to himself that whatever Hao thought, it wasn't going to include the words 'crazy', 'nutjob', or 'psychotic'.

"Thought so," Hao said softly. "You're one as well, aren't you?"

"A what?" Yoh asked, trying to sound nonchalant to hide his quickening heartbeat.

"A shaman, of course."

Yoh's eyes widened. That word. He had heard the word before, countless times in fact, but mostly he had heard it from old books. He had never considered applying the word to himself before. "Depends on what you mean by that."

"Let me put it this way. Can you see spirits?" Hao asked.

"Yes," Yoh said.

"Can you hear spirits?"

"Of course."

"Can you touch spirits?"

"… Yes."

"Then you," Hao said simply, "are a shaman. I'm one as well, and it seems you have quite a bit to learn on the subject."

Okay, that was the first chapter. I'm not really sure where to go with this, but I'm sure I'll have a beautiful idea sooner or later. When that day comes, I'm probably going to write one really long-ass chapter. Most of the chapters that I post these days tend to be anywhere from 5.5-8 pages long, just for the newcomers – mostly I keep them at a steady rate of 7 pages. The more inspiration I have, the faster these chapters will come out. I'm not going to say 'expect a chapter a day' or something, but if something brilliant really hits me, it's perfectly possible. It happened with my Yu-Gi-Oh!GX fanfiction; it can happen here. Btw, the poem at the top I made up in, like, eight minutes, if that. I wanted to find a real poem to stick up there, but it seems that no one had written what I considered to be thoughtful or flowing poetry. I'm sure mine's not much better, but it serves my purposes better than the weak poems I found on the 'net. If people want to use it, I don't care. Just please mention my name. It's all I ask.

I hope you enjoyed it!!

Tell me what you think!! If people don't really like it, I probably won't post much more, and of course the inverse is true.

REVIEW OR BE KILLED BY UNDEAD Chihuahuas. And that's a pretty damn scary threat right there.