AUTHOR'S NOTE: Ahhhh!  I'm obsessed with this fic but never have time to type it all up!  Well, I hope you all enjoy it.  It's an a/m.  I'm obsessed with those two lately, for some reason.  This is not an A/U, by the way, even though I know it may seem like that.  Please r&r!  Arigatou! 

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Kunais and Kodachis: New School

By: Serpentilewitch

Makimachi Misao stood outside the closed shoji- eavesdropping.  "You know you can't look after her forever.  This would be best, trust me," a stranger's voice was saying. 

"She'd be the only female!" Okina's voice objected. 

"She's a tough one and will earn her respect," the stranger countered. 

"What if others are tougher?"  Okina wasn't going to give up that easily. 

"Nothing unbearable could happen to her under the headmaster's watchful eyes."  For that matter, the stranger wasn't going without a fight, either. 

"What about boarding?" Okina asked, a triumphant not audible in his voice.  "It's a little late now, isn't it?  All the rooms would  be taken." 

"Actually," the stranger said, triumph in his voice as well.  "The headmaster has seen to the rooming arrangements." 

"But...what if Misao-chan doesn't want to?" Okina asked desperately. 

"What if she does?"  There was silence following that statement.  "Come now," the stranger continued after a moment.  "You know how she likes a good challenge.  Besides, she'll make friends quickly- she's that type.  This is the opportunity of a lifetime.  You do know that, right?" 

Okina sighed.  "Hai," he said.  "How about we ask Misao-chan if she wants to go.  If she does, she may."  The stranger nodded his agreement.  "Misao-chan!" Okina called, as though aware that she was eavesdropping.  "Come on in here." 

Misao slid the shoji open and stepped inside.  The stranger was as old- if not older- than Okina.  "Jiya-chan?" 

"Misao-chan, would you like to go to a boys' boarding school in an out-of-the-way village?" Okina asked. 

"It's a prestigous training school," the stranger put in. 

Misao's eyes sparkled and she started to nod her head before stopping.  What about her jiya-chan?  He was old and needed the quiet life.  Misao had a problem keeping her mouth shut.  This realization only heartened her resolve.  "Hai, I would."  Smiling, she added, "You'll have the quiet life now, jiya-chan."  She missed the sad look that crossed his face. 

He sighed heavily.  The stranger gave a curt nod.  "I'll have a carriage come pick you up in a week's time.  You should start packing.  Sayonara," he said, then stood up and left. 

"Who was that, jiya-chan?" Misao asked curiously. 

"A concerned citizen, member of the Public Education Office, and an old friend.  Misao-chan, you'll be going to an all-boys boarding school.  You'd best go pack."  Okina gave her a quick hug.  "Have you been practicing with your kunais?" he asked. 

Misao grinned.  "Of course, jiya-chan!  I'm really good now."  She got a pat on the back, then hurried to her room to pack. 

-:- ----- -:- ------:- ----- -:- 

1 Week Later... 

Misao stood outside the house, a suitcase on either side of her.  A carriage rolled in front of the house.  The driver hopped down and helped Misao stash her luggage.  Misao turned to Okina, tears in her eyes. 

"I'll miss you, jiya-chan.  Visit me.  If you don't, I'll try to."  The two hugged and it wasn't until after Misao's carriage was out of sight that Okina let himself shed the tears. 

It took two days to reach the school.  When they finally did and the driver opened the door, Misao's jaw dropped.  Leafy trees surrounded the front of the building.  There was a wide clearing in the back that was also surrounded by trees.  It looked so nice and cozy.  The building itself had a western look to it.  The school was a one story and the identical building next to it was the students' quarters. 

Her gawking was cut short by a tap on her shoulder.  The driver tipped his hat, indicating he was leaving.  Misao nodded and, lifting a suitcase in each hand, headed p the walkway to the main doors.  Reaching the doors, she put down her suitcase and knocked. 

The door was opened by a black-haired man with eyes like a wolf's.  Four long bangs were in front of his sharp, angular face and a cigarette was sticking out of the side of his mouth.  He raised an eyebrow.  "Weasel, you're the new one- Makimachi."  It wasn't a question.  MIsao was too shocked to say anything.  "I'm the headmaster, Saitoh Hajime."  After a pause, he said grudgingly, "Welcocme." 

Misao gaped.  The headmaster had just called her a weasel!  She gulped and followed him into the school.