Gods, I don't know why I did this. Here's your entertainment, I guess...

Just a Namahage Shinzo AU thing that I thought of. Mostly just scenes that I think up in my own head, or scenes that could normally occur outside of the actual storyline. Namahage Shinzo belongs to Vector Phantom; most likely any other characters who aren't mine that I'll have in here are Deathcas's.

Just "Friends"

Loaño sighed. She leaned back and took a moment for her body to heal itself as she watched time revert back to when before the Elkheria attacked. No lives had been lost, thankfully, but the fight had lasted a lot longer than she would have liked. Thankfully Hikaru had been there to help.

"Man, those guys are annoying," Hikaru sighed, fixing her blonde hair back up. It had come undone out of its clip during the fight. She sat down beside Loaño on the bench and complained, "Now they're interrupting our conversations! How rude."

Loaño frowned and pointed out, "Technically they're not... I mean, they did interrupt us, but with time having moved back to just before the Elkheria attacked, we actually never stopped talking."

Hikaru threw her a flat look and said, "OK, OK, I get it..."

"Just pointing that out to you," Loaño said with a smirk. "Now, where were we?"

Hikaru crossed her arms and offered, "Well, we were talking about your band. I think it's great that you've found yourself some more members. And so quickly, too! It's as if you were all meant to meet like that or something."

Loaño rolled her eyes and joked, "I swear if you say that it was fate I'm going to hurt you, Hikaru."

"Cool down," Hikaru offered, holding up her hands. "But seriously, you guys are really good. You and Nayuta are really good at singing, not to mention you can play the guitar like crazy. What do you know about your drummer?"

"Not much," Loaño replied, shrugging. "He seems all right, and he plays the drums very well."

"And your keyboardist? That Arbiter guy?"

Loaño flinched at the thought of Nikki. Yes, he was very talented, but there was just something about him...

He wants to have sex with you, Dark said bluntly.

Dark! she thought back, blushing on the outside. What the hell?

What? It's true... Dark told her.

Light pushed her way in and snapped to Dark, Don't you dare pollute her mind with such thoughts! She's a child!

We already had this argument, you stuck up bitch, Dark shot back. She's more adult than most adults, and she's old enough to make her own decisions. There's no point in censoring her life, we're not her parents!

Yes, but we're the closest thing she's got! Light countered. I do not want her falling into that boy's influence – he'll use her and then break her heart, and then where will she be? Unlike you, I do not want to perpetuate our whole's suffering!

Who the hell said that I was trying to make her suffer? Dark snapped.

Their conversation was beginning to make her dizzy. Loaño snapped aloud, "Will you both just shut up for once?"

They obeyed, for once, and Loaño rubbed her temples. Hikaru frowned and asked, "Dark and Light?"

Loaño nodded wordlessly, waiting for the headache to pass.

"Damn," Hikaru breathed. "No offense, but I'm really glad I've only got to deal with Fray. What the hell were they talking about, anyway?"

"Those two don't talk," Loaño corrected as her mind stopped throbbing. "They argue and fight like children, and it's a pain in the ass." Sometimes she wished that she hadn't even met her Light or Dark Side; but, unfortunately, they had come attached to her powers. Almost as soon as she awakened as a Dark Dreamer, the two of them appeared and began annoying her. "Then they get the awesome idea to put me in the middle of their arguments... it's just annoying."

"Sorry," Hikaru offered. "What were they arguing about that caused you to blush like that?"

Loaño set her jaw and explained, "They've been pulling shit like this since Nayuta and I met Nikki in the Ethereal World. Every time his name gets mentioned, Light goes off on a tangent about what a horrible person he is or something..."

"Why would she do that?"

"Because the guy seems to do nothing but flirt with me."

Hikaru raised her eyebrows. "Really? He's been flirting with you?" She had met him once or twice, but she had never noticed such behavior.

"Yes; at least, I'm pretty sure it's flirting," Loaño replied uncertainly. Honestly, she wasn't sure why he was flirting with her – whatever the reason, Light certainly didn't like it. Dark didn't seem to care – but then again, Dark never cared about much – in fact, Loaño could have sworn that her Dark Side thought that the Arbiter's advances were funny. Still, whenever the boy spoke to Loaño or so much glanced her way, Light went nuts. He was the source of many a headache recently.

Loaño shifted and muttered, "He's probably just playing with my head. He's an Arbiter, you know. That's what they do."

"I'm pretty sure not all of them are like that," Hikaru pointed out. "Wasn't your mom an Arbiter?"

"Yeah, but that's my mom," Loaño reminded her. "I don't remember too much from way back then, Hikaru; and this has nothing to do with my parents, so leave them out of it, OK?"

"Well, maybe it does?"

"How so?"

"Well, your mom and his mom knew each other, didn't they?" Hikaru asked.

"Apparently," Loaño replied.

"And your dad fought with his dad," Hikaru reminded her. "So, both your moms were Arbiters and they were friends, and both your dads were Dark Dreamers and they were friends – maybe he remembers you from somewhere?"

"Not likely," Loaño sighed. "I don't remember seeing him as a kid – and anyway, I was four when my parents died. I don't remember much about being four. I doubt he does, Arbiter or not."

"Maybe he's had a crush on you for all this time, though?" Hikaru said with a smirk. "Wouldn't that be cute?"

"Kind of creepy, honestly," Loaño admitted. "If we were friends as kids, then I could see it – but I don't even remember seeing his face before we met at the karaoke club during the tournament."

"Fine, fine," Hikaru sighed. "Just trying to help you. Are you bothered by his flirting?"

"I..." Loaño trailed off, unsure. Nikki, as much of a stranger as he was to her (and it honestly felt like they had met somewhere before), seemed to know what to say to either make her blush or make her uncomfortably warm. Was that part of his power as an Arbiter? He had called her perfect so many times it made her head spin; not to mention everything else. She blushed self-consciously.

"Lo, hon, if it bothers you so much then tell him to stop," Hikaru told her. "I mean, you're technically the bandleader, right? If he doesn't listen to you then you could consider it sexual harassment or something and boot him out."

"If he leaves, then Rory would probably go," Loaño pointed out to her. "And it's not like it bothers me so much as... I don't know, I'm not used to it..."

"What, you're not used to someone flirting with you?" Hikaru raised an eyebrow. "Where the hell have you been, Lo – we flirt all the time!"

"Yeah, but that's mostly a joke," Loaño told her. The rumors about she and Hikaru were annoying, but it was more fun to make people uncomfortable about it than it was to beat the shit out of them, as much as Loaño would like to. "I mean, it's not like anything could really happen between you and me..."

"You don't know that," Hikaru pointed out. She put her hand on Loaño's and leaned close, a smile on her face, and she said, "Anything is possible, Lo."

Loaño blushed harder and pulled away, whining, "Hikaru! Don't do that!"

Hikaru laughed, and Loaño did her best to hide her face. Hikaru calmed down and sighed, "Man, Lo, you're funny. I guess I'll never understand why you don't just come out and say that you're bisexual already. It's better than letting rumors float about."

Loaño ran a hand through her hair and insisted, "Why don't you say it louder? I don't think anyone in the Ethereal World heard you."

"Will you stop?" Hikaru insisted, nudging her. "Not everyone is out to hurt you, Lo; you're so defensive!"

Loaño looked away from Hikaru and snapped, "Look, I have every reason to be, all right? I don't want to..."

"What, get hurt?" Hikaru finished. She wrapped her arms around her friend and pulled the other blonde close. Loaño squirmed, but Hikaru held her tight. "Lo, people can only hurt you when you let them hurt you. Words don't matter."

"It's not words that I'm afraid of," Loaño admitted.

"I know; you don't want anyone to use your weaknesses to hurt you..." Hikaru sighed. "But you count your sexuality as a weakness?"

"It's not just me that they would try to hurt," Loaño murmured, leaning her head against Hikaru's chest.

"You don't need to worry about me, Lo," Hikaru said, smiling. "You worry too much about stuff. Is this why you're uncomfortable with Nikki flirting with you? You don't want him to get too close?"

Loaño closed her eyes and replied, "I don't want him getting hurt because of me. Too many people have already."

"So you do like him..." Hikaru realized.

Loaño pulled away, blushing furiously, and admonished, "Hikaru!"

"Man, look at your face!"

"This was all one big set up?" Loaño raged, clenching her fists. Power sparked from her skin and she glared at Hikaru. "If Kikkyou was able to harm allies then I would be killing you right now! I do not like him like that!"

"Then why are you smiling?"

"Shut up!" Loaño demanded. She threw a fist at Hikaru, who ducked. "I do not like him! We're just friends!"

Hikaru stood up as Loaño did, dodging as the latter began throwing fists. Hikaru realized that she had forgotten how fast Loaño actually was – she was just barely dodging her attacks. Hikaru had to go on, however – she knew that there must be something that was sparking such a large reaction from her friend.

"Come on; you two can't be just friends – not with the way that you look at each other!" Hikaru shot back.

"Shut up!" Loaño yelled again.

"Oh, I get it..." Hikaru realized, jumping out of her friend's range.

"Don't you dare say it," Loaño growled, bristling like a wolf.

Hikaru smirked and accused, "You love him!"

Loaño froze, her body cold, as Hikaru began singing, "Lo and Nikki, sitting in a tree; K-I-S-S-I-N-G!"

Furious, Loaño tackled Hikaru to the ground and pinned her there, the tension in her body threatening to explode out of her limbs. She insisted shakily, "I... I am not in love with him..."

"Come on, Lo," Hikaru breathed. "It's pretty damn obvious that you two really like each other."

Loaño shook her head and murmured to herself, "He's just playing with my head... why would he ever care about me?"

"Because you're awesome," Hikaru replied. "You're badass, you're smart, you don't take shit from anyone, you're always yourself... plus, you're actually very pretty."

"That's a lie," Loaño told her. She pulled herself off of Hikaru and rolled onto her back, repeating, "Just a bloody lie. How could anyone think that I'm pretty?"

"Because you are," Hikaru insisted, sitting up. "People act like they hate you because they wish they could be more like you – unafraid of opinions, not scared to be yourself. You don't change yourself for anyone. Have you looked at yourself in the mirror lately, Lo? You have the body that any girl our age would dream of having; your hair is adorable when its all messy like that, and your eyes... well, you have very beautiful eyes. You should be proud of that."

"Shut up," Loaño mumbled. "Hikaru, how can I be proud of myself when I don't even know what I am?"

"Why should that matter?"

Loaño fidgeted and replied, "It'd be really nice to know where I belong."

Hikaru rolled her eyes and pulled one of Loaño's strangely-pointed ears. Loaño yelped and insisted, "Hey, those are sensitive! That hurts!"

The older blonde let go and Loaño rubbed her ear. Hikaru frowned and said, "Quit downing yourself. Dammit, Lo, if you were more comfortable with yourself, you would be mine, you know that? Hell, if Nikki doesn't make a move soon, I might just take you for myself – hey, don't give me that shocked face, you know you wouldn't mind."

Loaño flushed and said nothing.

Hikaru smirked and said, "Man, it feels weird to be stuck in a love triangle. Now I know how Celena feels. Or would Sanmaru be more accurate? Eh, it doesn't matter; you're caught in the middle, anyway."

Loaño sat up and murmured, "I'm sorry for attacking you."

"That's all right," Hikaru said, smiling. "I should have expected it, anyway. Want to get ice cream or something?"

Loaño smiled and said, "Sure."

Hikaru stood and offered Loaño her hand. The younger blonde took it and Hikaru pulled her up. The two of them stood face-to-face for a moment, and Hikaru didn't let go of her friend's hand.

"Why did you dye your hair blonde, anyway?" Loaño wondered. It had been black before, and very pretty.

Hikaru shrugged and used her other hand to brush Loaño's bangs out of her eyes. "No real reason," she answered.