Hiya!!! *waves* if you can't tell by now, I'm obsessed with Aoshi/Misao fanfiction. In my book, there'll never be enough of it!! ^.~ Now, as many people know, I've written a *lot* of fanfiction.......but.......they were all romance/humor, or angst/romance......er.......I've never written an Action/Adventure/Romance story before. *grins sheepishly* I hope I can pull it off! I want this fic to have a lot of action, and a lot of subtle romance.......like my Inuyasha fic, "I'll Always Love You". ^-^ Well, read and enjoy!!

Chapter 1


"Aoshi hasn't been back from the temple yet......." Okon whispered to Omasu.

"Yes, well.......he missed his dinner too......." Omasu whispered back.

"Whatcha talkin' about?" Misao asked loudly, scaring Omasu half to death.

"Er.......nothing Misao-chan......." she grinned, rubbing the back of her head nervously. "We were just thinking that-"

"You should take Aoshi his dinner. He hasn't come back yet," Okon finished quickly.

"Um, okay," Misao said uncertainly. "Where's it at?"

"Over there," Okon pointed, and Misao went to fetch the tray.

"They'll hook up eventually......." Omasu grinned, and gave Okon a high- five.

"If you two are scheming something......." Misao warned on her way out the door. "I'll kill both of you."

"Oh don't worry!" Okon grinned evilly. "We're not planning anything!"




His head barely turned to acknowledge her. She sighed inwardly. She'd been bringing tea and stuff to the temple for a long time, yet he still withdrew into himself.

"Okon and Omasu sent you dinner," she answered simply. There was no point in talking excessively, because it would all be falling on deaf ears.


"How long are you going to be here Aoshi-sama?" she asked. "Everyone's worried about you. You're here before sunrise, and long after sunset."

"As long as it takes," he answered, and turned his head to stare at the wall.

"Oh. Gomen ne......." she apologized, and bowed slightly. "For disturbing you." She turned and left, muttering one last thing before she disappeared around the corner. "Don't forget to bring the tray back with you when you return."

Aoshi sat alone. He was always alone, it seemed. Not that it mattered though. He was glad that Misao had brought him dinner. He was getting rather hungry anyway. There was a cup of tea on the tray, and he watched the steam curl above the rim.

Tea kept you awake. It kept you alert, and it gave you a short boost of caffeine. He supposed that was why he drank it so much.

He ate his dinner slowly, and pushed the tray away from him. He was planning to stay most of the night anyway. He'd probably return after midnight again.


Misao walked home slowly. She wasn't in a hurry, but.......she sure was tired. Yawning, she covered her mouth with one of her hands. She'd been training longer hours in the last few months because she hadn't had anything better to do.

Besides, she didn't want her 'friends' Okon and Omasu trying to stuff her into a kimono any time soon. Aoshi-sama didn't seem to care what she wore, so why should she?

It was past nine o'clock, but the sun was just sinking in the west. She looked at the forest to her right and decided to walk through the shaded area. It was rather hot too. Taking the darkened path, she watched the road ahead of her. Well, there wasn't really a road.......it reminded her of when she first met Himura.

The woods, how she chased him.......and then the cliff. She was glad that Himura had saved her back there. Most other men would have left her to her fate. She had been just a *little* bit annoying. Well, a *lot*.

She matured a little in the year she'd been back. She was now 17 years old, but she felt the same as she did a year ago. She'd tried to give the title of Okashira back to Aoshi-sama, but he'd declined saying that 'he was still unworthy and not ready to accept it'. In other words, he still felt guilty about Hannya and the others. Not to mention what he'd done to Okina.

Didn't he understand that they'd forgiven him a long time ago?

She was so deep in her thoughts she didn't even see the man standing in front of her until she almost crashed into him.

"Eh?" she wondered, looking up. "Who're you?"

"Insumi......." he answered slowly. He looked to be in his mid-late 20's, and had dark brown hair pulled back.

"Oh. Can I help you?" she asked.

"Yes, could you tell me where the leader of the Oniwabanshuu is?"

"That's me," she answered quietly. "Why do you want to know?"

His eyes widened. "You? The leader of the Oniwabanshuu? What's the matter with them.......did they lose so many men they had to rely on a little girl?"

Misao struggled to keep her temper under control. "I've been the leader for over a year now. What, do you have a problem with women leaders?"

"So, everyone really must have died!" he laughed. "Even Shikijou would have been a better leader than you!"

"How would you know?!" she snapped. "He DIED. Over a year ago. Yes, most everyone's gone."

"Even Aoshi?"

Misao stopped mid-rant. "No, he's still here."

"Then why isn't HE the leader?"

"He declined," she answered simply.

"Why, is it because he betrayed the Oniwabanshuu?"

"Shut up." Misao's eyes narrowed and she glared at the man across from her.

"I always thought he'd do something like that. That guy's always had some serious emotional problems." He looked at Misao and smirked.

"Leave Aoshi-sama alone!"

"Why do you call his name with such honor?" Insumi growled. "He was a terrible leader. Just look at the Oniwabanshuu now! A CHILD for a leader!"

"I'm *not* a child!"

"So I see......." His eyes traveled downward, and Misao's eyes burned a hole through his head.

"Stop it you sicko!" she yelled. "Just tell me why you wanted to see me!"

"I didn't say I wanted to *see* the leader, I said I wanted to know where they *were*......."


"Well, since you're the Okashira.......I challenge you for title of Okashira of the Oniwabanshuu."


"We'll fight. The winner gets to lead the Oniwabanshuu. It's easy."

"You won't win," she informed him.

"That's what you think Misao Makimachi, that's what you think."

"How'd you know my-"

"Let's just say that your grandfather and I didn't really get along......." he smirked, and drew a sword from the sheath at his side.

"Fine! I'll beat you. In fact, because you're so nasty, I think I'll kill you!" Misao declared, taking a fighting stance.


Aoshi's feet pounded softly on the dirt road back to the Aoiya. He was tired. It was long past midnight, and he knew that if he were to go back to the temple the next day, he'd have to get some sleep.

When he neared the Aoiya, his eyebrows rode in surprise. The lights were still on. That was certainly strange. Were they waiting up for him?

He slid open the shoji and took in the scene before him. Okon and Omasu were wringing their hands together, and Okina looked like someone had stolen the last rice ball. Shiro and Kuro looked at Aoshi expectantly, as if he were bringing home something for them.

"Where is she?" Okon asked, looking behind Aoshi.

"Yeah, she's with you right?"

"Pardon?" Aoshi asked, one eyebrow raised.

"Oh dear," Okina sighed.

"It's Misao-chan," Omasu told him.

"She hasn't come back yet," Kuro said.

"We thought she was with you. We should have known she wouldn't stay up this late!"

So much for getting a few hours' sleep.


Hiya, this was the end of chapter 1. I just realized how stupid this is. Why am I posting it? I honestly don't know. This writing style is terrible compared to most of the rest of my fics. *silently cries*

AHHHH Where's Misao!? Will she DIE?! *yeah right* the story just started. I wouldn't kill her off yet. Will Aoshi FIND HER?! Will Aoshi smile? Huh?

Anyway, this fic is starting out dumb, but next chapter you'll get to find out......dumduhduhdum! WHAT'S HAPPENED TO MISAO!

Review please!

~Okashira Misao