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Pei Yi ([personal profile] lacewood) wrote in [community profile] toxicskyremix2004-05-15 10:13 pm
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shaman king - dead of night

Takes place in volume 24, just after the Epilogue arc.




"...Ow, whadde...?"

Horohoro woke to the pain of having someone's very sharp elbow briskly slammed into his cheek. Peeling his eyes open, he stared blearily at the ceiling above, barely visible in the shadows of the room. ... Wait. If it was still dark, then why did he have to wake up...?

Rubbing at the bruise, he turned to investigate and found himself looking at the back of Ren's head as the other boy lay on his side, apparently fast asleep and perfectly innocent of hitting sleeping people in the head for no reason whatsoever... Yeah, riiiiight.

"Ren, you bastard, what the hell was that for?" He mumbled.

A snort. "Because I felt like it." The other boy added in a quiet snarl, "And for snoring like a pig, trying to roll onto my futon and kicking me four times."

... Oh. "I do not snore like a pig..."

Ren did not dignify his half-hearted defence with an answer but Horohoro could feel the waves of contempt rolling off him. He glared at the boy's back.

"Hey, if you're going to be so picky about sharing rooms then go get your own or something. Bet mommy and daddy wouldn't mind helping their darling little Ren... they probably have extra rooms, what with all those zombies with them..."

Ominous, enraged silence.

Self preservation kicked in where his sleep-adled brain had failed to and he added hastily, "All right, I'm joking. Look, if you sic that oversoul of yours on me and mess up the room, Anna will kill you."

The thought of Anna's formidable wrath might or might not have had an effect, but Ren's aura of death, doom and destruction did fade... slightly. Horohoro heaved an inaudible sigh of relief and shifted to stare at the ceiling again. Talking to Ren's back was stupid anyway.

"Oi, Ren."

A pause. "Some of us. Would like to get some sleep, you know."

"I was getting some sleep until you woke me up."


An anger he hadn't realised was still there suddenly bubbled over. "Yeah, you should talk, you're the one that went and got himself killed."

Horohoro froze but it was too late, he'd said it. This seemed like his day (night) for doing Really Stupid Things. Like being suicidal and saving the Icemen. And then nearly getting killed, if what Lyserg had said was anything to go by. Getting mad at Yoh for doing what he couldn't. And now this.

Not to mention letting that idiot Ren die right in front of him.

Guess that left them about even, really.

There was a long silence from Ren; Horohoro glanced at him and considered inching away, but with Ryu on the futon beside him, there wasn't much space to inch into. And besides, if he'd been stupid enough to say it, he guessed he'd just have to deal. After all, Ren couldn't kill him, it'd put the team at a disadvantage in the Shaman Fight. Right?

"I know."

The words were grim and strangely calm. Surprised, Horohoro stopped. Turned, propping himself on an elbow to peer over Ren's shoulder.

"Are you sure you're all right? Did that Iron Maiden do something to your head when she brought you back?"

The Chinese boy turned to glare murder and Horohoro barely managed to duck a fist, falling back on his futon. He smirked as Ren sat up to favour him with the full force of his angry stare. "All right, maybe not."

The yellow eyes narrowed. Ryu suddenly shifted beside Horohoro and muttered something - they couldn't hear what exactly, and the odds were they wouldn't want to know anyway - they froze. He kept sleeping.

"You're going to wake everyone." Ren said acidly. And quietly.

"You're the one trying to kill me." The Ainu boy muttered back.

"Hmph." He lowered himself back on the futon and lapsed into silence again. Horohoro considered going back to sleep and leaving Ren to stew in whatever it was that was keeping him up, but he was already too awake.

"What's up with you anyway? Can't sleep?" And if he was wide awake and it was all Ren's fault, he might as well bug him while he was at it.

"Could you sleep if someone kept kicking you?"

"Hey, it's never bothered you before." Cushioning his head back on his arms, Horohoro stared up. "Still pissed about Yoh?"

Twitch. "I am not 'pissed' about Yoh."

"Yeah, sure you aren't. He quits the Shaman Fight to save you and you're all happy about it?" He shut his eyes briefly and added through clenched teeth. "The idiot."

"You sound angrier than I do." Horohoro didn't need to look at him to hear the smirk in the words.

"Shut up." The trouble with being awake in the middle of the night was that it gave you too much time to think about the things you didn't have to remember when you were busy fighting shamans and their big crazy oversouls and trying to stay alive. Dammit, he did not want to remember watching Ren fall with that look on his face. Didn't want to remember how they could have killed Chocolove and him in the bargain if Yoh hadn't turned up. Remember Hao.

The strong live, the weak die.

He'd just had his weakness thoroughly shoved in his face today; he didn't need to lie awake in the middle of the night thinking about it.

"It's not like you don't know what he's like." Ren said, almost to himself.

Horohoro sighed. He did, didn't he? They all did. "Doesn't make it any better." A pause. "Though I guess we kind of helped him out with Hao and that golem too."

A snort. "You really think so?

"What's that supposed to mean?"

"If you think Hao walked away because he was scared of us, you're even stupider than I thought you were."

"Why you..." Horohoro felt his fists clench... but Ren had a point. And for once, he was too tired to want a fight. "I didn't say that." He snapped as quietly as he could.


Horohoro ignored the sceptical grunt. "I don't understand him." He grumbled.

"... Feh. Are you talking about Yoh or Hao?"

Pause. "Come to think of it, the both of them. Maybe it's some kind of twin thing."

Except that it showed in two completely different ways, and it was freaky enough realising that your greatest enemy was inconceivably powerful and your friend's twin, without having to think about how alike they might be in the bargain.

He yawned and thought, hell, things just got more and more complicated, didn't they? Ren still hadn't spoken; maybe he was already asleep, or lying awake thinking things he didn't want to talk about.

Grimacing, he found himself sinking slowly back into sleep. Maybe that was why he forgot himself enough to ask.

"What was it like, being dead?"

Being a shaman blurred the lines other people saw between the living, the dead, the real, the imagined. It didn't make dying any less real though, just gave you a different perspective; and even that had just gotten shot to hell. Horohoro had never heard of shamans bringing people back to life before today; but then, he'd never heard of spirits that fed on human souls before joining the Shaman Fight either.

With Hao, death wasn't just death. It was worse.

"Why do you want to know? Scared you're next?"

"Bastard. I was just asking."

"Cold." A pause. "Dark." The words flat and empty, as if they held no meaning.

"Good. Guess that'll teach you to be so stupid next time." He let his eyes shut, the last words coming out slurred and broken. "I'm not... Yoh. If I had to quit... to save your ass... you bet I'll... be pissed..."

Then he was asleep. Ren could hear it in his light, steadily louder snores. All right, maybe he didn't snore like a pig after all. That would probably be an insult to the pig.

"Simple minded idiot." He muttered to the darkness. As if it were that easy.

... quit... to save your ass...

He was surrounded by simple-minded idiots, he told himself. As if the Shaman Fight weren't complicated enough already, they had to make it worse.

Why the hell did they bother?

Why the hell did he?


July 2003