HEY MINNA! What do you call a one shot that's two chapters? A two shot? Well this is a two shot centered around Megumi and Sano... very interesting, really. sleepwalking and gambling and the like. Ok, I've talked enough! R&R please, or no chapter 2!!
"Uh. In case you haven't noticed, Mr. Wha'd you say your name was?"
"Nakamura Jiro." Sano tried to hide his smile. It worked the same way every time; give the guy running the show a fake name, and then when someone came around trying to collect on you, they were always asking for the wrong man.
"Well, Mr. Jiro, put some money down and we might be able to get this thing going." The dealer held the dice between his fingers and the cup in the other hand, waiting to slam them down and let the gambling begin.
"I'm honest for it."
The dealer's eyes became slits. "Right then. Don't think we yakuza won't come around to get our money if you lose."
"I won't lose."
"You've lost all night."
Sano growled at this. These jerks were here to let him have a good time, not keep a tally on whether he was in the money or not.. Despite the fact that he'd hocked everything but his shirt and his pants and hadn't won a hand all night. No matter, he could feel his luck starting to warm up. You had to lose something if you wanted to win big.
"I said, I won't lose."
The dealer nodded and slammed the dice in the cup with one fluid motion. Sano's pulse quickened. It would be evens. It had to be evens.. C'mon, daddy needs a new pair of tabi socks..
The dealer peeked under the cup and smiled.
Damn. Well that was a beautiful ending to a night from hell. He picked up his sake cup and downed the remaining bit, the sparse room beginning to swirl together.
"Well, Mr. Jiro, wanna go again?"
Sano stood up shakily. "Hey, I may be a lot of bad things, but I'm no fool. Your dice are rigged. You thought I was too drunk to notice, but half an hour ago, you switched out the fair dice for some weighted ones." Sano smiled. "Am I right?"
The dealer cocked his head to one side and scowled. He was a little wisp of a man, wiry and resembling a cross between a rat and a human. "Clever, Mr. Jiro. Terribly clever. However, you're not the only one with brains around here, Sagara Sanosuke."
"How long've you known?"
"How many 6 foot tall men walk around Tokyo in the middle of the night with a bad symbol painted across their back?"
The room was starting to really blend together now. One drop too much sake, Sano. He leaned against the wall with one hand. "'S me, yours truly."
"And you, Sagara, owe our house more money than you'll ever be able to repay. Or should I say you, Nakamura Jiro, Takahashi Honda, Yamaguchi Hiroshi, Fujimara Yukio, and any of your other fake names owe us more money than they'll ever be able to repay. Get 'em boys."
Sano couldn't really see what happened next, but he was pretty sure that all four walls of the little room turned into huge sumo-wrestler type guys. They surrounded him and cracked their knuckles. With the help of Sano's double-vision drunkenness it appeared that an army was closing in on him, and he'd swear later that there were at least 20 of them..but in reality only six figures swayed around him.
He smiled and pulled one hand out of his pocket. "Now this is the kinda fun I've been waiting for all evening!"
"Why you little pr- Uwah!"
THUMP. The sound of flesh hitting hard ground rang out across the room. One of the men had tried to put Sano in a headlock and found himself lying belly up sprawled out on the ground like a dead catfish.
"Hey, I don't mind taking time outta my night to play with you guys, but the next one that even tries to touch my hair is gonna end up with a face full of broken teeth."
The thugs stood there for a minute, taking in the sight of their fallen companion. "You guys! Get him!" The dealer's shrill voice broke their concentration and they all charged on Sano at once.
"Lets go!" Sano jumped up in the air.
One grabbed for his waist. THUD! Down on the ground.
"One!" Sano shouted.
The next one tried to take him from behind. SMACK! Flattened up against a wall.
Another one tried to knock Sano's feet out from under him. PLOMP! Tripped over a chair and had a personal encounter with the floor.
Someone's big hands clasped around Sano's neck. UHH! A backwards kick to the groin.
Two feet went flying towards Sano's kneecaps. CRRASH! Thrown right into the dealer's table and smacked against the ceramic sake cups.
The dealer was unconscious under one of the brutes and Sano dusted his hands off as he turned to leave. He placed his hands out to either side and tried to guide himself down the hallway.
"I am so wasted. It only shoulda taken three seconds to take those guys out. and why the hell is the hallway moving!" He mused to himself as he walked out into the street and the night air.
Now. If he could only figure out which way was home. God, he was so drunk. He held a pointed finger out in front of him and looked at the four way intersection.
"Eenie, meenie, miney. you!"
With that, he stumbled down a particularly dark alleyway singing the Japanese national anthem to himself, horribly off key.
Where on earth was he? Sano had been wandering around for an hour and a half now and had yet to see anything he recognized. The effects of the sake had worn off and left him with an angry headache. Above him, the moon was halfway through the sky, it must have been about three in the morning, and it was blacker than black all about him.
Stupid sake. Stupid night. Stupid street that seemed to go on forever towards nowhere in particular!!
A cat wailed in reply to his ranting, but besides that, the streets were barren. Shutters were closed tight all around him and not a speck of light from a candle could be seen.
But suddenly, Sano saw something walking towards him up ahead on the road. He chewed on his fishbone and smiled, hoping it was a thug that was going to make the mistake of attacking him. He had a lot of pent up anger right now, releasing it would do him a world of good.
But the figure didn't come straight towards him. It kind of weaved from one side of the road aimlessly. Randomly it would stop and stare straight ahead, then look up at the sky and continue on. It was dressed in a white, flowy fabric, and its long black hair waved in the wind.
It was a woman.
And not only was it just a woman, but it was.
"Hey, Megumi!" He yelled, running forward to her. She stopped dead in the center of the road, but did not reply. "Megumi?" He slowed to a walk and brought himself level with her shoulders.
She just stood there, her lips turned down in a frown and her eyes gazing at something past Sano.
"Megumi? Hello?" He snapped his fingers in front of her and got no reaction. And then it hit him. "She's. asleep?!" He whispered quietly.
Then she began to walk again as if she had gained new purpose. Her steps weren't hurried, they were measured and calm as she traipsed ahead of him. Sano's face registered something akin to shock.
He was about to run after her and shake her hard, but just before he did, he remembered what Megumi had told him once.
She had been sitting out by the river one spring day reading a book when he found her. He sat down beside her. "Whatcha reading?" He asked.
"It's a medical book." She almost snapped without looking up. Sano peered and tried to read over her shoulder. "That's really annoying."
"Well, so-ree, fox lady. Sleepwalking? 'S that what you're reading about? It doesn't take a genius to figure out how to take care of a sleep-walker, Doctor Fox."
A smile appeared on Megumi's lips. She shut the book and turned towards Sano. "Oh really? Why don't you tell me how, if you're so smart."
"All you gotta do is wake 'em up!"
Megumi laughed. "Baka! If you wake up a sleepwalker they could go into shock! That's the one thing you never wanna do, rooster head." And with that, she turned her back to him and continued her reading.
Megumi was already almost out of sight when Sano came back from day dreaming. Great. What was he supposed to do now if he couldn't wake her up? He better follow her, just in case something bad happened.
Sano stayed some ten feet back from her as she drifted up ahead of him. She sure knew how to pick the worst streets to wander down. Sano would have never come this way if it wasn't for her. He hated to think what would be happening to her right now if he hadn't come along and seen her.
Suddenly, out of one of the dark shadows of the street, a tall, older man approached Megumi, the smell of opium hanging on his clothes. He reached out to touch her face, but she just kept walking.
"Hey, baby! Wanna come to my hotel room with me? You and I could- oof!"
The man never got to finish his sentence because he was suddenly confronted with Sano's fist in his stomach.
Obviously, walking behind her wasn't going to work, so Sano ran to catch up with her and tried to act like the two of them were on a stroll together. At three o'clock in the morning. in a dark alleyway. with her only in her nightgown.
As she rounded the next turn, a group of men came out to meet Megumi and Sano. They sneered at the two as they formed a loose circle around the pair. Megumi stopped and stared up at the sky again, seemingly unaffected by what was going on around her.
"Lookie here, fellas. Look what we got. A pretty little broad and her boyfriend out on a moonlight stroll. How romantic." The leader of the group spat through his teeth as he talked and his friends all gave a little chuckle. "Is this your woman, boy?" He pointed the butt of his knife towards Sano's chest.
Sano turned scarlet. "Well, not exactly."
"Well, then you won't mind us taking her then, will you?" One of the guys grabbed for Megumi's hand.
Sano remembered all of the times Megumi had assailed him with 'Rooster Head'. This was a difficult decision. Unfortunately, the sake had worn off, and his conscience began to talk to him. "Under any other circumstances, probably not, but. not now...."
"What exactly are you planning on doing about it?"
"Umm. I guess. this!" And with that, punches began to rain down on the stunned men. Within a few seconds, bodies were sprawled out across the street. Sano wiped his brow with the back of his hand and looked around for Megumi. She had already walked away and was just rounding the corner up ahead.
"Damn it!" He said through clenched teeth and ran to catch up with her. When he got to her, she was standing in the middle of the road again with her eyes closed. That's when Sano took a real good look at what she was wearing.
Mosquito netting might have covered her better. Her white nightgown, tied with an extremely loose obi, was, well. flapping in the wind in certain places. Her creamy legs and her bare feet made her look like a walking wisp, the front part of her frock gaping open just a bit, not really revealing anything, just teasing the imagination.
"Kami-sama." Sano breathed as he took off his white jacket and laid it over her shoulders. She seemed to not register the action and continued walking, though after a few minutes she gripped it tight around herself.
For some time after that, she continued to walk without stopping. Sano had never witnessed a sleepwalker before and was shocked at how. awake they looked.
But besides that, Where on Earth was she Going?
She was almost out of the city now, almost to the Kamiya dojo. She was standing on the bridge that spanned the waterway on the south side of Tokyo, staring out across the sky with her blank eyes.
And then she did the strangest thing.
Ever so delicately, she placed one hand on the bridge railing, and then another. Then a foot balanced itself on the railing with the other foot following it, until she was standing straight up in the air over the water. Her arms hung limply at her sides and the wind fluttered Sano's jacket about her shoulders.
Sano felt a wave of fear rush upon him. Quickly, he ran to her side and reached out to grab her, to save her from losing her balance and toppling over into the water below, but she merely shrugged his hand off. And so he watched her with a careful eye, even the hint of a jump would send him flying at her again only to be pushed away.
She was being suicidal in her sleep? And Sano had always thought Kaoru was the weirdest of the bunch.
For more than five minutes, she stood there like that, completely asleep. Then, in a fluid motion, she jumped down off the bridge and began walking back towards town.
Now where was she going? This wasn't exactly how Sano pictured the rest of his night to turn out, babysitting the Fox Lady. but he continued to follow her all the same.
Luckily, all she did was return to her home. Of course, Sano followed her in to make sure she didn't get hold of a kitchen knife or something. But she merely walked quite calmly to her bedroom, laid down on her futon, and pulled the covers up to her chin.
Well, that was wonderful. Now he could go gamble some more with a guilt-free conscience. He was just tiptoeing to the door when he remembered.
Great. That was just PEACHY. While he realized his pectoral muscles were fabulous, he couldn't exactly show them off to all the thugs at the gambling joints.He could think of nothing else to do but.
Slowly, he went over and bent down beside her, hopefully heavy sleeping, form and put his hands under her covers to try to wrestle his jacket away from her. Problem was, she was laying on it.
After several minutes of exasperation, he could feel the jacket give way from under her. He was just about to pull it out and remove his hands from her, when.
Sano jumped back and fell against the hardwood floor, hitting his head in the process.
"BAKA ROOSTER HEAD!! WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING HERE?!!"
Sano rubbed the back of his head with one hand and tried to crack a smile. Megumi had shot up on her futon and was now glaring angrily at him.
"You're a lot prettier asleep, Fox Lady."
Bad move, Sano.
A string of curse words flew from Megumi's mouth as she picked up anything within her grasp and hurled it at Sano. "WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITHOUT YOUR SHIRT ON!!" She screamed, as Sano's jacket came flying back towards him. Then, she noticed her gaping clothing. "Eep!" Megumi clutched the white fabric around her. "Call Hajime Saitoh! Someone call the police! I'VE BEEN RAPED!!"
Sano sprang to his feet, his face more than flustered. "Now wait just a minute, if I wanted to do that I woulda atleast acted like I was interested when you talked."
". Ouch." Sano rubbed the red handprint across his face. Megumi, however, paid no attention.
"You pig! You horrible, horrible pig!!"
"HEY!" Sano was getting more than a little tired of being yelled at for no reason. It would have been a different matter if he had actually done anything to her, but for once, he was entirely blameless. "I did NOT touch you! EVER! But I guess that's where doing a good deed gets you."
"What are you talking about?" Megumi's eyes narrowed and her voice grew even again.
"If you'd lemme talk instead of going nuts on me then I might have been able to explain that I found you wandering around on the street and followed you back here to make sure you didn't hurt yourself." He left out the bridge episode. He was still trying to work out what the hell had happened back there.
For a minute she looked peaceful, then shocked, then a little scared. Maybe she would start crying and Sano would have to comfort her.
Well he could always hope.
Unfortunately, her fear only led to more and more anger, which led to extreme amounts of continued yelling. "You BAKA! If you're gonna lie, make up SOMETHING GOOD! I DON'T sleepwalk!!" With that, a porcelain vase came flying towards Sano's crotch and he dodged to the side and out her door, barely avoiding a very painful experience. She was still yelling as he walked away towards the Kamiya dojo
"Wait 'till Sir Ken hears about THIS!"
Sano winced at the thought of what would have happened if he hadn't avoided her throws. "That girl's got damn good aim." He whispered, dragging his feet along in the dirt with his hands in his pockets.
'Yeah, wait till Kenshin hears about this.' He thought, 'But will he believe it? Do I believe it?' The sun was just starting to rise. Sano silently thanked whoever the heck made it do so, glad this long night had come to an end.
Of course, another night was only twelve hours away..
THERE! Like it? Hate it? TELL ME! I need reviews to continue, otherwise the buck kinda stops here... hope you enjoyed it, thanks for reading!