Shaman King Fan Fiction ❯ Long Road Home ❯ Question - - Why? ( Chapter 1 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

The Long Road Home
Chapter 1: Question -- Why?
Theme - #1: “look over here”
Rating: PG (rating subject to change in future chapters).
Disclaimer: Shaman King nor any of its characters belong to me.
Summary: [Yoh /Anna]. Yoh and Anna have a long road ahead of them with many uncertainties. What does their future hold?
Spoiler Warning/Author's Note: This fanficiton is written for the 30_kisses Challenge. This is based on the anime with no manga references. It takes place after the anime, which means spoilers will be dropped in occasionally for the entire series.
Manta found himself to be an intelligent person. It had little to do with self confidence or ego and a lot more to do with his test scores and constant studying. He'd learned about the world, through both his studies and, more importantly, his experiences with Yoh. However, there were some things Manta had resolved himself to never understanding. Perhaps at one point, he'd thought that after enough observation and interaction, he'd come closer to comprehension, but when things were all said and done, he had been wrong.
He would never understand the complex relationship between Yoh and Anna. When he had first met Yoh and shortly thereafter, Anna, Manta had thought he had understood pretty much all there was to understand about their relationship. Anna was controlling and domineering, while Yoh remained in obedience to her wishes out of fear. Although, sometimes he thought that was still true, it had not taken long for him to realize he had been wrong. The dynamic between them was much more than something that simple. Anna knew how to motivate Yoh, knew what he needed. Sometimes, Yoh just needed a push in the right direction or was not aware of the next step until after it was showed to him. Anna always seemed to point them out, although usually not in the friendliest of ways.
But altogether, despite aspects of their relationship here and there, where Manta had fleeting moments of understanding, he remained, basically quite clueless. How they managed to live together was completely beyond him.
They were two totally different personality types that seemed destined to end up ruin and unhappiness. Sure, they had some similarities; both wanted an easy going life and were not afraid to work for it. Both had already worked hard to get where they were, as Manta was sure becoming a shaman or spiritualistic medium was no easy task.
But, truly, they were different people. Yoh was intrinsically kind-hearted and could not be mean, cruel or even indifferent really, in any fashion, to anyone nor was it in his nature to be angered or upset by nearly anything.
Anna, on the other hand, had no trouble being completely insensitive or purposefully ignorant when needed. She could dish out any criticism without batting an eye and didn't have a problem ignoring others in need when it didn't suit her.
One thing Manta was certain of though was Anna's love for Yoh. His best friend was still much of a mystery to him in that respect however. As far as Anna went though, Manta was sure of it. At first and for a very long time thereafter, he had not believed she held any serious, actual affections or special attachments to Yoh.
But he had seen her face on that fated day, not so very long ago. He had seen the emotion felt in his heart, reflected in her eyes, in the set of her shoulders and in the composure which she had not been able to maintain. He knew. He may have been distressed but he would never ever forget what he had seen that day.
But a good amount of the time, those feelings were not visible, and sometimes Manta began to think she'd changed. Certainly she never verbally expressed those feelings and rarely showed them through action.
Manta knew they would both follow the promised path their parents had destined for their future. But that alone made him wonder, that if without that pledge, would they still be together? Manta doubted it. Would they remain friends? It was possible. With Yoh's personality it was hard not to be friendly, but still, he was unsure. What he truly wondered was why did Yoh, rather than seeming resigned, restricted or even frustrated by the lack of control over his future act like he felt quite the opposite? Yoh was always in a pleasant mood, and when Manta often joined him and Anna for dinner, he saw that through Anna's glares, Yoh still laughed and smiled.
Never did Yoh show interest in other girls, not even when they showed an interest in him first (if they somehow managed to get through Anna that was). Never did he seem upset about the fact that he would not date through his younger years. Never cared a single bit about all that he was giving up and Manta could think of very little that he was gaining.
So one day, under the shade of a tree after school, Yoh simply watching the world pass him by and Manta with his head stuck in a textbook, could no longer stay quiet on the question that kept him from concentrating and had been bothering him for quite some time.
“Do you… well, like Anna?”
Yoh's relaxed pose did not change. “Of course I do.” He paused reflectively, “Unless I missed dinner and then she can get pretty scary.” Another pause. “Eh, by the way-“
“You still have half an hour.”
Yoh's relaxed posture returned and he laid back in the soft grass. “Oh, that's good. Thanks.”
“But…” Manta wasn't sure how to ask him without putting it bluntly. “But, why do you like her?” He glanced over at Yoh and noticed a small smile on his lips, as he reclined in the grass, his eyes closed.
“I suppose the same reasons any of us like her.”
Manta was beginning to think Yoh hadn't quite understood his question. Maybe he had and this was his way of avoiding it? But Yoh was not one to usually manipulate a situation like that. No, Yoh most likely had no clue what Manta was trying to get at. He laughed, “You're right. Just forget it.”
Yoh, pleased that he could return to his state of half napping, simply nodded his head and let the conversation drop.
Twenty minutes later, Yoh was headed to the store and then home to cook dinner for Anna, while Manta was off to cram school. He'd stop by for dinner after school. All earlier thoughts left his mind, knowing it would all work out. He couldn't imagine Yoh failing at anything. Or Anna for that matter.
Yoh and Manta had been best friends for quite a long while and he came over for dinner frequently. Normally, Manta was welcome to come in but always knocked anyways. And just like usual, loud noise could be heard coming from both the kitchen and the TV and his knock went unheard.
Manta typically let himself in at this point in time. He always just went in and hung out with Yoh in the kitchen and would help him out with dinner or at least keep him company until it was ready.
Today was no different, and as he walked to the kitchen, he could hear the TV in the background, knowing Anna would be watching it until dinner was ready. He could also hear much banging and talking coming from the kitchen, as Yoh, in an effort to improve dinner, had started talking to himself while cooking. But as Manta got closer to the kitchen, he realized that it was more than Yoh talking to himself, but was speaking with Anna, who was also in the kitchen.
“Yoh, I'm not kidding, if you put that in there, I won't eat it.”
“But Anna, c'mon, you have to try it. We all need to learn to be more open towards new culinary experiences.” Manta could imagine the pleading look on Yoh's face, to go along with his desperate reasoning, and Anna's stern expression.
“I won't say it again.”
A short silence later and Manta was almost at the kitchen, he did have rather short legs after all and was not much of a fast walker.
“I swear if you try to put that in my mouth, I'll bite your finger off.” Manta decided to walk a little faster, because Anna didn't make empty threats.
Yoh's teasing tone rang through the air, “Anna…”
And at that moment Manta burst into a sprint, just knowing he was going to come into some sort of scene of dismemberment, because honestly, sometimes Yoh just didn't know when to stop. But when he came around the corner it was not at all what he had expected as he saw Anna's lips wrapped around Yoh's finger, in what looked not at all like a bite but much more like an altered form of kissing and a very large grin on Yoh's face.
Manta wanted to avert his eyes, but for some reason the sight just screamed “look over here” and that was exactly what he continued to do. Yoh slowly extracted his fingers and laughed, “See, told you it wasn't bad.”
Anna punched Yoh in the arm, and Manta, despite the fierce blush staining his cheeks, thought maybe he had come one step closer to understanding why Yoh was always so happy. And when Anna turned and saw him with that angry look on her face that sometimes, well always, scared Manta, he promptly forgot it.