Title: The Geas

Author: Dragon's Daughter

Fandom: Rurouni Kenshin

Disclaimer: I don't own Rurouni Kenshin. I am making no profit by writing this fan fiction. It is intended for recreation purposes only.

Pairing: K/K A/M

Rating: R / NC-17

Summary: Life hasn't been good for Kaoru since the day her father died and her evil witch of a stepmother turned her into a literal slave. A spell binds her every movement and hides her from the sight of the world until she happens across the path of Kenshin, a veteran of the Revolution who can not only see her, but is instantly smitten with her!

Archiving: Shattered Theories, Adult ,

Notes: The unedited version of this fic will be available at Adult and at my personal webpage, Shattered Theories.

Prologue: Once Upon a Time…

Once upon a time, not so long ago, there was a little girl who was very special.

She didn't know she was special, not until she got older, but she was special nonetheless. Her father didn't know that she was special either, so he raised her like any other little girl; with sweets, and hugs, and shoulder rides. The little girl and her father loved each other very much, especially since they were all the other had in the world.

You see, the little girl's mother had died shortly after the little girl was born leaving the Father to care for their child. He was young and idealistic and so he shouldered the burden with a smile even though his heart bled when other men might have left their child with a female relative or a neighbor.

Still, there were other things to occupy the little girl's mind. Her father ran a Dojo where he taught Kenjutsu and there was nothing the little girl loved more than to perch in the open door of the training hall and watch her father and his students drill their forms. The steady and repetitive motion entranced her. It was no great leap of the imagination for her to mentally translate those movements into the graceful and flowing movement of a sword battle.

Sometimes she took a small stick that she'd whittled down herself and copied those movements until she had them memorized perfectly. Then she would practice the movements by attacking the falling leaves in the courtyard.

The little girl's father didn't re-marry or adopt a son to carry on his Dojo. Sometimes it seemed to the little girl that he was waiting for her mother, his wife, to return. Between lessons and meals, she would often find him sitting on the veranda in front of their house as he watched the front gates.

When little girl became older, dark times fell across the face of the land. Two warring factions clashed for control of the country. They battled on and off again until the little girl's seventh year when the second faction defeated the first and peace settled over them again. However, the world was a different place under the guidance of the new government. The Samurai class was disbanded and swords were outlawed.

Suddenly there was little need for sword lessons and fewer students for the Dojo. Education was in demand now and the little girl found herself landed in lessons. She already knew how to read and figure; her father had taught her, but now she found herself learning physical science, literature both eastern and western, and more mathematics than she knew existed.

The little girl strove to do well in her classes so she could bring honor to her father, but her heart yearned for the simple feel of muscles and tendons stretching beneath her skin as she practiced her sword work. However, as she studied she found another pleasure to be found in the exercise of her mental faculties.

For a while, it seemed life could not be better for the little girl. Hers was a carefree life of sword practice, studies, and laughter. If the Dojo was a little shabby and there wasn't money for things like fish every night or a new kimono every year, it didn't matter to her. She had everything her heart could desire.

One might have said that she lived in a dream, and that would not be an entirely incorrect statement for like all dreams, this one had to end.

When the young girl turned eight her father remarried. It seemed like a bolt from the blue to the little girl. One day her father went on a trip to Kyoto to meet an old friend and when he returned he brought a bride back with him.

Komagata Yumi, now Kamiya Yumi was everything a woman should be. She was refined, elegant, and beautiful. The little girl was in awe of her from the moment her father handed her down from the carriage in front of their home.

What was more the little girl's new stepmother brought a great deal of wealth to the household. Suddenly the Dojo wasn't quite so shabby. Although her father had done his best to keep up with the repairs, he was no handyman. Under her stepmother's orders, professional workers came and suddenly the little girl's home became a new place with polished floors and elegant fixtures.

At first the little girl was prepared to open her whole heart to this new woman who made the Dojo glow and her father smile, but quickly she learned otherwise. Her stepmother was only gentle and kind when the little girl's father was about. As soon as he turned his back, the little girl experienced her stepmother's cutting insults and vicious slaps. If the Dojo glowed, then it was because of wood polish and not the love that had once infused its halls.

Even worse was that when she ran to her father to show him the bruises on her face it was as though he were blind to her injuries. When she tried to tell him of her stepmother's poor treatment not only of her but the new servants who tended the house her tongue sealed to the top of her mouth and she found herself unable to speak at all. Always her father would ruffle her hair and send her off to play.

Not even a week after the little girl's stepmother arrived, new strife broke out in the nation. In Satsuma, the disfranchised samurai rose up against the new Meiji Government and the little girl's father was called away to fight. He was slain in battle almost immediately.

The little girl was shattered, but her stepmother received the news with undisguised glee. That very night, the little girl found herself dragged from her small room by her stepmother and thrown into the empty kitchen. The servants had all been dismissed and she found herself ordered to take their place. When she rose to protest her Stepmother did something strange. The woman spoke a word that the little girl didn't hear so much as with her ears, but inside of her head. The word made her muscles freeze and her mind go blank. It was then that the little girl realized that her stepmother was one of the Mages left over from the Revolution.

She'd read about the Mages in her History books, which said that most of them had died in the fighting. Only legendary figures such as The Battousai of the Ishin Shishi and The Mibu of the Shinsengumi were said to have survived. Apparently her books had lied.

That night she received the orders that were to define her life from then on. She was no longer 'Kamiya Kaoru', heir to the Kamiya Kasshin Dojo she was just plain Kaoru, the scullery maid. She was never to speak of her true identity nor was she to speak of her Stepmother's powers. She could not leave the Dojo without specific permission and orders and she was only permitted to clean in most parts of the house.

Shortly after that, the little girl found her home invaded by two newcomers. Her stepmother as it turned out had two daughters. Neither knew they had a stepsister and regarded the little girl as a lower sort of servant, which is to say they mostly ignored her. The eldest was cool and a bit withdrawn, which was a far cry from her younger sister's natural exuberance. Of the two, the little girl could have learned to love the youngest sister, but the spell kept her far away.

Years passed thus and the little girl became a young lady. Slowly she began to forget what it had been like to be a loved child. As her hands became hard and cracked from the work, so too did her heart acquire a stony outer layer.

As the sun dawned on her seventeenth birthday, the little girl had lost all hope for a better future and as such she wasn't paying attention when destiny finally decided to turn the tables in her favor.

End Prologue

Seiyuu: Once again I'm posting and once again this story is already completed! I'll be posting the chapters every week or so. Stay tuned to see what happens!