Hello again. Thank you for making it this far in the story.

I'm greatly thankful for those of you who've been reading it and reviews would be greatly appreciated...

The Other Side

Chapter 5 - We Meet Again

*San's Point of View*

My eyes immediately flew open only to be greeted by the loud sound of quarrying wild birds and the dim rays of sunlight on my face. The sun has risen clicking my inner-wolf instincts as a signal that it was time for action. Before I could get up, a thought flew inside my mind.

Ashitaka was here last night and he apologized to me while I was asleep. Well, at least he thought I was sleeping. Of course, I was wide awake and caught every single word he had said without him knowing it. I may be a wolf but I can be just as crafty and cunning as a fox can.

With outstretched arms, I slowly got up and out of the soft white sheets, letting out a yawn which showed off my sharp canine fangs, my eyes began to scan the tiny room looking for a certain little girl. I found no sign of her inside then began to wonder where she was. Wanting to look for her, I headed straight towards the door only to stop and think about what I was going to do.

'I hardly know my way around town,' I thought with doubt about wandering on my own just to find her, 'I hate closed spaces anyway.' Without further a do, I let my feet drag me out of the room and march right out of the long corridor.

Unfortunately, the moment I stepped out of the corridor opening, my heart froze as I had just made a sudden realization.

'Damn, where's that mask?' I thought cursing myself for being forgetful.

Soon enough the smoke clouds of filthy human-caused waste would devour me alive. To my surprise, a hand grabbed my arm with force and I was sent staggering down only to come face-to-face with a smiling Hoshi.

"Good Morning San!" she greeted with cheer as usual. "Here's your mask," she handed me the same mask she let me borrow last night.

After graciously thanking her for saving my lungs, I put the mask on without hesitation. I sighed in relief, glad that my mouth was protected from the bad air. Something was weird about the mask though, it didn't smell wolf-like anymore. No, instead it smelt of human. Upon realization, my hands reached for the mask, about to take it off until Hoshi elbowed me hard against my side.

"Bad dog! Keep your mask on!" she commanded.

I winced, nodding my head obediently. She gave me a smile before moving with me following after her. This human girl-child certainly had a strong sense of superiority, it was an ongoing annoyance. I admire her for her bravery though; no human would dare stand up against me. No human except-

Hoshi came to a halt all of a sudden in front of the entrance of the Ironworks and stood as still as a stilt. Curiosity was sparking up inside me once again after the "behind-the-door" incident last night which I was able to restrain myself in. Not wanting to infuriate the human girl-child, I decided to wait for her to do something, move at least.

It was no use, my head was about to burst after a few seconds, my wolf-ness got the better of me and I began to yell at her, "HOSHI, what in the world are we waiting fo-?"

Just before I could finish my sentence, Hoshi turned to me with a smile that looked genuine, surprising me. Stepping aside from the entrance, I stood there alone until the door slowly began to open. I raised an eyebrow at Hoshi who just urged me to keep looking at the opening door.

'What could be on the other side of the entrance?' I wondered to myself and held my breath, ready to face the stranger.

Finally, someone had entered and stood right in front of me. My heart leapt as I knew that this was certainly no stranger I had faced. The two of us could only stare at each other, waiting for the other to have the guts to speak up. Not able to stand the irritating silence between us, I decided I would be the first to speak up.

"Ashitaka?" was all that came out of my mouth even though I already knew it was really him. By the look in his eyes, I could tell that he was flooded with guilt right now which made me frown, unhappy at the fact that he wasn't ecstatic to see me as I was.

Suddenly, he started approaching me, slowly moving closer towards me. I gulped inwardly, wondering what he was up to. He stopped just a few inches away from me and with outstretched arms he closed me in an embrace, just as he had done before not so long ago. "San, I can't tell you how sorry I am about that promise," he spoke confidently but with regret in his voice.

Now, I had just had about enough. Forcefully breaking out of the hug, I looked at him straight in the eye, "Idiot human!" I spat out angrily.

"San, I'm really sorry," he pleaded, desperation all over his face.

Catching him by surprise, I broke down in a hilarious fit of laughter while Hoshi let out her giggles from the sidelines. Ashitaka had a look of complete confusion on his face as he observed the out-of-the-ordinary scene before him.

"I don't get it," he shook his head in disbelief, "You're not upset with me?"

Abruptly, I stopped laughing and looked at him like he was brainless, "Of course I'm not, why should I be?"

"I broke my promise, doesn't that upset you?"

I sighed, humans are so dense, "You came into Hoshi's room last night didn't you?"

"Well, yes. Yes, I did but how'd you-".

"Wolves are very alert, you know?" I said with pride.

"Oh, I see," he murmured grimly.

Deciding that he would've had more to say, I kept quiet and waited for him to continue his explanations. Figuring he got the message, he carried on.

"So, are you ever going to forgive me?" he hopefully asked.

"No," I simply replied. Seeing the look on his face lit down, I added on, "You kept your promise last night".

He looked at me questioningly, "What?"

"Idiot!" I growled viciously with an angry expression. "Your promise was for YOU to visit ME am I not right?" I was beginning to get sick of his lame musings and self-pity.

Frightened by my sudden outburst, he gave an understanding nod. 'Good human,' I thought.

As if something had just clicked, Ashitaka finally understood what she meant, "So I guess that promise was kept."

I scoffed at his late realization, "Yeah, no kidding."

Hearing a loud cough from the behind us, we both turned to face Hoshi who waved at us. "You two are a joy to watch," she stated energetically and started to clap her hands.

Ignoring Hoshi's funny antics, I turned to Ashitaka, "Now, my mission is complete," I scanned him up and down, "I see that you are in good health." Figuring that I was no longer needed and that what I had come for had been accomplished, I headed for the door, "I should be leaving now."

Blocking my path to the exit, Ashitaka ran ahead of me and placed himself between myself and the large door. A stern look on his face with a visible hint of desperation in his eyes that I just happened to notice since wolves have far more advanced eyesight than humans.

"You can't leave yet; you just got here," he started, taking a step forward. "Please stay for a while," he pleaded.

Completely ignoring his pleas, I didn't answer back. Instead, I turned away scoffing. "It stinks here," I retorted.

His face fell after I had said that so I decided to reconsider, "On the other hand, I would like to stay for a while."

Glints of sunlight lit up his corneas as a happy smile spread across his face. "That's great!" he said with such enthusiasm similar to that of Hoshi's. Without warning, he came at me; ready to embrace me in one of his affectionate hugs.

In one swift movement, my strong right hand was flung in front of me. It collided with his chest with enough energy to cause him to stagger back in surprise. "I will stay," I began to say, brushing myself off like a broom sweeping the dirt off the ground, "That's not an excuse for you to hold me in your arms."

I grinned as I saw him turn beet, aren't I devious? Without another word, I pushed open the doors and smiled in delight. The sun greeted me with the gift of light. Accepting its warm welcome, I walked on forward with my head raised up ready to explore the world of those hideous humans.

From behind, Ashitaka and Hoshi walked up to meet me in my time of readiness. Hoshi stood in front of me and the little rascal bowed. "Honoured guest," she politely addressed me. "It would be the pleasure of me and the dashing young man to escort you on an exclusive tour of the town," with that said, she marched off like a well-disciplined soldier.

Ashitaka and I followed her through the streets of the town, allowing me some time to think things over. 'I am here,' I thought, turning to Ashitaka, 'He's with me.' Somehow, even though my goal of meeting him again was fulfilled; I still felt as if something still remained unfinished; a piece of the whole puzzle board was lost and in need of finding to complete the picture.

"Thank you," Ashitaka spoke up which broke me out of my thoughts. His face remained calm but being cunning as I was; in his eyes I saw pure happiness within them. "It was really thoughtful of you to come all this way just to visit me, San" he finished, giving a quick smile.

"You mean a lot to me, Ashitaka," I replied. Although I felt his gaze on me, I managed to keep a straight face though in my mind I knew I had a strong urge to let a smile make its way onto my face.

After that conversation, we remained quiet as Hoshi continued to lead the tour of the town. From then on, I knew that the time was coming. Yes, the time to face the creatures that I've been dreading my whole entire life - the humans...

Hmm... I'm beginning to think of something...

School's coming to slow everything down so it may be a while before something comes up again.

In the meantime, please review, I'd like to hear your thoughts.

Once again, as I've said many times... Thank you for reading! :)