Disclaimer: Monster Rancher does not belong to me. Every new character or identity is mine though.

Author's Note: This is yaoi, Tiger x Hare (well, in the end. God, it's hard enough to just get them to be polite to each other). Everyone else will likely be paired normally if at all. Based on the TV series itself. No rude comments, please. If you don't like yaoi, don't read it. But, it's going to be good.

Hare's Secret

The night wind whistled around the campfire surrounded by seven figures. The evening had been spent going over their mission, as well as finding out more about each other's pasts. 'And that's how I saved the day again,' Suezo boasted, standing tall on his tail. 'Oh, come on Suezo, do you really think we'll believe that you single taily (handedly) defeated a group of dinos, not to mention becoming the hero of the city,' Genki smiled even as his yellow friend flipped around to glare at him with his large green eye. 'IT'S TRUE!' the suezo yelled, flashing his white teeth and jumping in frustration. The rest of the group simply sighed as they watched the two friends continue to bicker.

Dark blue fur rustled as Tiger of the Wind gazed around the fire with his ancient golden eyes. The child Genki, a boy from another world, standing next to Holly, the girl with the Phoenix gem. Suezo, an annoying eyeball monster who was trying to get his point across to the roller blade wearing Genki. Next to him on one side sat the silent Golem, holding a tiny sleeping pink sweetcake monster named Mochi in his one large stone hand. And on the other side... the monster's gaze narrowed on a tanned brown furred form. One boxing hand was cuffing the blood red handkerchief wrapped around his neck, the other resting on his cheek as Hare sat in total silence. For Hare, that was either a miracle or... he was planning some kind of trick that likely involved stealing something or trying to annoy Tiger, as usual. But... there was something hidden deep in those dark blackish eyes, something that even Tiger of the Wind could not understand. It seemed that, for once, Hare was actually oblivious on the world around him, simply focused on something unknown to anyone else. Then, a light voice caught Tiger's attention, drawing his eyes to the light brown haired girl sitting by the fire.

'Stop arguing, you two. It's late and we have to get some rest for tomorrow so we can find the Phoenix,' Holly was insisting. Suezo 'humphed' loudly and hopped over next to her to sulk, leaving Genki to blink at her even as he to sat down. 'But, we haven't heard everyone's story yet,' the boy was saying, turning to gaze at the hare across the fire. Tiger glanced back at Hare, who seemed to have been jolted from his thinking, a strangely vulnerable and shocked look on his face. 'Huh? What was that, Genki?' the hare asked, straightening. The look had quickly been replaced by the ever present smiling mask. 'We haven't heard your story yet, Hare,' Holly explained, hands tucked in her lap. 'My story?' Hare's voice echoed the clearing, filled with uncertainty and something... else.

'Yeah, Hare,' Genki obviously hadn't noticed the slight shift in tone, grinning. 'Tell us all about it. What happened to you before you joined us? How come you were at the fighting ring?' the boy was eagerly awaiting the answer, which strangely never came. The hare merely contemplated his question for a moment, his hand unconsciously clutching the scarf around his neck. Tiger's eyes narrowed, what was so important about it? 'Come on, Hare. Tell us about where you grew up, what your life was like,' Holly urged gently, smiling sweetly. 'We told you our stories, now spit out yours,' Suezo grumbled, still upset about Genki's words earlier. 'Yes, tell us... Hare. About your past,' Golem's deep voice filled the woods, focused on the boxer monster.

'My past? I don't really have one,' Hare admitted solemnly. 'Come on, Hare. Tell us about where you used to live, your family and friends,' Genki urged. 'I'd love to, Genki. But I really don't remember. As far as I know I am an orphan. I don't remember anything other than traveling alone,' said the monster. 'How can that be?' Holly inquired softly. 'Yeah, you must know something,' Suezo urged loudly. 'Afraid not,' said Hare, shaking his head. 'Well, you didn't just appear out of nowhere,' Tiger growled at the hare beside him. Silence stretched the small campsite. Hare's expression was unreadable as he simply turned his head to stare into the tiger's golden eyes. His deep black orbs held something that made Tiger's mind swirl, it was like a forbidden memory of long ago. There was something very familiar about that very look, those same dark eyes filled with a strange emptiness.

'You know, Tiger. Maybe I did,' the monster finally exclaimed, staring up at the stars. 'Did what?' Genki asked, sitting straighter. 'Just appear out of nowhere. The first thing I remember was waking up alone. I was... lying on sand, I think. My fur was strangely damp, like I had just washed up from the river behind me. As I stood, I tried to gather my thoughts, but I felt strangely blank. I couldn't remember what had happened, where I was, or even who I was. But, there has always been this strangely empty feeling deep inside. Like something is missing. But, I don't know what it was. Maybe it's just my imagination or something,' Hare tried to laugh off the comment, but it sounded strangely hollow. 'It's ok, Hare. You don't need to hide from us,' Holly assured him. 'Yeah, we're your friends. And don't you forget it,' Genki announced, bolting to his feet. 'Mochi' the pink creature jumped up from his recent doze.

'Thanks, guys,' Hare whispered, smiling back. Tiger eyed the annoying monster beside him. Hare was hiding something, but what? Gracefully, he allowed himself to curl up even as the other got ready for bed. Hare stared up at the stars a while longer, then he too felt the weariness from their long day. Tiger watched through slitted eyes as the hare curled up on his side away from him and seemed to drift to sleep. Yes, that Hare would be trouble. Whatever he was hiding was something that made Tiger want to study him even more closely. The questions burned in his mind, but he had no answers at the moment for them. No matter, he'd figure everything out soon enough, and perhaps even be rid of that annoying Hare.

Even as the shadows drifted over the glowing pale moon, a single set of ebony orbs remained open, staring into the darkness. Hare had told the truth, he was unsure of his past, as well as the reasons behind why he had been drawn to the little group. He would know the answers, but he wasn't sure if he really wanted to remember the past. A shiver passed through his furred body. There was something buried deep within his locked memories, a reason behind everything. But, it was dark and sorrowfilled, just like his past.


Author's Note: This is my first actual Monster Rancher fic, but I love the Tiger x Hare pairing. There's just something sweet about two enemies (in a way) falling in love... sigh!... Anyways, please let me know how this first chapter was. And don't worry, it isn't just a romance story, it's got an actual plot and background to it, but I just have to add the yaoi romance. I'd appreciate if any rude comments aren't posted... like I said, if you don't like yaoi, don't read the fic.