TWL-xmas.v00

Last modified: 05/05/00

Okay, this is my quickie response to the KFFDisc ML Xmas fic challenge. It's a weird mish-mash of songfic and vidfic, so please bear with me!

It's about Saitoh and Tokio, naturally... and there's just a little touch of lime. ^_^

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This story is set in my own ALTERNATE REALITY Rurouni Kenshin universe which I've called "The Nightwitch Tales" -- think of it as Rurouni Kenshin mixed with various supernatural and paranormal elements. It takes place after the end of the Kyoto story arc. After that, all bets are off. Other stories in this alternate reality are: "Night Visitor"; "All in the Family"; and "Romancing the Wolf".

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KFFDisc Xmas Challenge: "You Took The Words Right Out of My Mouth"

A Rurouni Kenshin Songfic by MadamHydra
based on the song "You Took The Words Right Out of My Mouth" by Meatloaf
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Short Disclaimer: (Full Disclaimers at the end)

Rurouni Kenshin is copyrighted by its creators and all distributors of their work and used without permission.

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==== Tokyo, winter, 1871 (4th year Meiji) ====

Police inspector Fujita Goro -- better known to others as Saitoh Hajime, Mibu's Wolf, 'that ruthless bastard', and numerous less complimentary names -- glanced skyward and smirked slightly as a few fat snowflakes began to drift to the ground. Another threat to order successfully eliminated and another setback for the forces trying to drag the country back into bloody chaos.

He was feeling reasonably content.

Behind him, he could hear a shopkeeper whine to one of his old customers, "Snow! That's the last thing I need! Business always plummets when it snows. Who wants to go trudging through cold, wet slush to go shopping?"

"Snowstorms always make my joints ache something awful," the elderly male customer moaned. He shuffled to the store's doorway and peered up dolefully at the dark gray sky. "And from the look of those clouds, we'll probably get a good six inches, I bet!"

"Oh please! I'm just breaking even! Another bad winter will put me out of business for sure...."

"Last winter... ah, I remember. It's been a year almost to the day since that last huge snowstorm...."

The two querulous voices faded as Saitoh continued down the street.

(Has it already been a year?)

He came to an abrupt halt when he realized that it was almost exactly one year since he and Tokio....

(It was snowing on that day, too....)

It seemed impossible that his very first wedding anniversary would be arriving in less than a week.

(Only one year? It feels like Tokio and I have been together forever....)

Saitoh was all too aware that he was not the easiest person in the world to live with. Normally, he didn't give a damn what others thought of him, as long as it didn't affect his or others' ability to handle their duties, but he definitely cared about Tokio's opinion. And of course he had heard many horror stories from his colleagues in both the Shinsengumi and later in the police force about how hard it was for a new wife to adjust to his sort of hazardous lifestyle both during and after the Bakumatsu no Douran.

But all that worry had been for nothing. After the wedding, their two lives had meshed together perfectly, like a hand and the hilt of a favorite sword. The sudden calls in the middle of the night, the long unexplained absences, the occasional injury, the waiting... none of these things seemed to faze Tokio. She dealt with all these things with her usual profound grace, patience, and common sense.

(If I truly had any reservations about her ability to handle a relationship to someone like me, I never would have fallen in love with her at all. But still, I couldn't help worrying about it. What a sentimental idiot I am,) he thought to himself.

Tokio could be a perfect saint with regard to things involving his job and duty, but she was anything but the typical dull housewife. Quite the contrary. Her quick wits and a decidedly wicked sense of humor meant that in other areas of their lives, all bets were off. That made life with Tokio endlessly fascinating and quite the challenge, even for the infamous Miburo.

Saitoh grinned slowly.

He wouldn't have it any other way.

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(spoken)

BOY: On a hot summer night, would you offer

your throat to the wolf with the red roses?

GIRL: Will he offer me his mouth?

BOY: Yes.

GIRL: Will he offer me his teeth?

BOY: Yes.

GIRL: Will he offer me his jaws?

BOY: Yes.

GIRL: Will he offer me his hunger?

BOY: Yes.

GIRL: Again, will he offer me his hunger?

BOY: Yes!

GIRL: And will he starve without me?

BOY: YES!

GIRL: And does he love me?

BOY: Yes. whisper

GIRL: Yes....

BOY: On a hot summer night, would you offer

your throat to the wolf with the red roses?

GIRL: Yes. whisper

BOY: I bet you say that to all the boys.

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(Wedding anniversary, hm?)

Saitoh glanced around the street and wondered what he could possibly get Tokio on such short notice. The glimmer of silk caught his eye as an elderly woman carefully folded and rearranged a stack of fabrics on display before scurrying back inside the store.

Although shopping was hardly his forte, Saitoh had a very discerning eye for quality and skill. Admittedly, that talent was usually used to assess the combat abilities of an opponent, but as soon as he stepped inside the small shop, he knew that he was surrounded by the work of a master craftsman, or in this case, a master craftswoman. Bright cotton yukatas for casual wear, sturdy travel coats, and elegantly embroidered kimonos and obis, along with woven fabrics of every shade covered the walls and shelves.

One particular obi instantly grabbed his attention. At an initial glance, it looked like a rather mundane sash of gray silk done in a mountain-and-sky pattern -- something quite suitable for a sedate, matronly sort of woman.

But on closer examination, the true beauty of the obi became apparent to Saitoh. Out of the many subtle shades of gray in the fabric, he could almost make out sleek, almost predatory four-legged figures that playfully danced or curled up cozily with each other.

As he pulled off his gloves and slowly ran his sword-callused fingers along the intricate designs both embroidered and woven into the piece of silk, he sensed someone stepping out from the back room of the shop.

"Can I help you?" a low female voice said.

Saitoh turned to see a short, rather plain middle-aged woman. Her clothes matched her looks -- plain, simple and functional. The only bit of ornamentation on her person was a string of dark blue-green beads in her hair.

"How much?" he said, picking up the gray fabric.

She smiled and stated her price. It was very expensive, but hardly unreasonable, given the obvious quality of the piece.

"Fine. I'll take it," he said, casually placing the money on the counter.

She picked up the sash, then paused to ask, "Excuse my presumption, but is this intended as a gift?"

Saitoh gave her a relatively benign smile and said, "Yes."

"I see. The lady's very lucky. It's one of Hukoto's finest pieces."

"You're not the maker?" Saitoh said with a raised eyebrow.

The middle-aged woman chuckled. "Oh no, just her friend. I'm helping out with the shop today because the bad weather usually makes her knees ache. Fortunately, her hands remain as nimble as ever."

Noticing the inquiring look on Saitoh's face as she briskly pulled out a plain, but finely made sandalwood box, the woman waved her hand and said, "Oh, there's no extra charge for the box. Hukoto has them specially made for each of her favorite creations."

As she carefully lined the box with white rice paper, the woman said, "Whoever she is, your lady must be someone very special to you."

"Oh? You know that much just by my choice?" he said with an expression of wry amusement.

"Of course!" She gave him a cheerfully sly look. "Men who are only interested in impressing a woman would have chosen a much more colorful and spectacular sort of gift. Conversely, most normal women would prefer more obviously pretty fabrics."

"Go on. This becomes interesting."

"You strike me as being both an insightful and efficient sort of man. The fact that you bothered to look beyond the surface plainness of this sash means that you're making an effort to find something special. In turn, that implies that your lady's a woman capable of appreciating things of subtle beauty. Ergo, you care enough about your lady to give her such an exquisite gift knowing that she will truly enjoy it."

Saitoh chuckled and clapped his hands. "Ah, excellent work and a better piece of deduction than I've seen from many of my colleagues." He grinned and said, "So tell me, can you figure out the exact relationship between myself and the lady in question?"

As she carefully folded the obi, the woman groaned playfully. "Now comes the hard part! I'm going by gut instinct when I say that this sash isn't the sort of thing you give a sister or other female relative. It just feels wrong. And it's a gift that requires a definite intimate knowledge of the recipient, so I'll have to say that I don't think she's just your fiancée. I guess that leaves a long-time mistress or a wife."

Like an impudent squirrel, she peeked up at Saitoh. "Well, how did I do?"

He raised an eyebrow and said, "I think you should join the police force, given this little display of deductive and intuitive reasoning."

"I'm close?"

"Close enough. But are you willing to narrow your guess any further?"

She threw up her hands. "Heavens, no! I know when to quit when I'm ahead! Besides, mistress or wife, it really doesn't matter. What matters is that it's a gift of love for a very special lady."

Saitoh glanced toward the street at the snow that was now falling thick and fast. He murmured absently, "Oh yes. She's a very special woman."

* * *

==== Mountains outside Kyoto, winter, 1870 (3rd year Meiji) ====

[ The full moon shines brightly in the clear night sky, making the great mounds of snow surrounding the mountain cave glitter as if dusted with tiny diamonds. An eerie stillness grips the snowbound forest, as if the wilderness around the ancient shrine is holding its collective breath... waiting.... ]

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It was a hot summer night

And the beach was burning

There was fog crawling over the sand

When I listen to your heart

I hear the whole world turning

I see the shooting stars falling

Through your trembling hands

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[ As Saitoh, his shirt unbuttoned, stares out at the white vastness, Tokio walks up behind him and places a slim hand on his shoulder. When he turns, she silently hands him a tattered piece of paper with a list of names. But instead of tucking it away in a safe place, he lets the paper slip from his fingers and flutter to the ground as he stares at her wordlessly. From his bemused expression, it's clear that he thinks she's the most alluring woman he had ever seen, despite her bruises and torn clothes. Slowly, he gently cups her face between his hands, giving her time to retreat if she wishes. ]

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You were licking your lips

And your lipstick shining

I was dying just to ask for a taste

We were lying together in a silver lining

By the light of the moon

You know there's not another moment

Not another moment

Not another moment to waste

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[ Tokio smiles up at Saitoh and parts her lips slightly. He cautiously leans forward and places his mouth on hers. The tentative kiss deepens as she arches toward him. ]

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You hold me so close that my knees grow weak

But my soul is flying high above the ground

I'm trying to speak but no matter what I do

I just can't seem to make any sound

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[ After a long, passionate kiss, Tokio slips her arms around Saitoh and hugs him tightly as she rubs her cheek against his bare chest. He returns the embrace, burying his face in her long black hair. Taking a deep breath, he opens his mouth, but appears unable to find the right words to say. He tries again, but Tokio suddenly places a finger on his lips. Then with a brilliant smile, she whispers something in his ear. ]

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And then you took the words right out of my mouth

Oh it must have been while you were kissing me

You took the words right out of my mouth

And I swear it's true

I was just about to say I love you

Love you

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[ Saitoh rears back and stares at Tokio, a stunned and dazed expression on his face. She gives him a mischievous smile and pulls his head down toward her, then starts placing little teasing kisses on his mouth. She slowly works her way along his cheekbone until she can nibble gently on his ear as she murmurs 'I love you' to him. ]

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And then you took the words right out of my mouth

Oh it must have been while you were kissing me

You took the words right out of my mouth

And I swear it's true

I was just about to say I love you

Love you

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[ Saitoh closes his eyes and pulls Tokio tightly against him. He just holds her without saying a thing. ]

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Now my body is shaking like a wave on the water

And I guess that I'm beginning to grin

Oh we're finally alone and we can do what we want to

Oh the night is young

And ain't no-one gonna know where you

No-one gonna know where you

No-one's gonna know where you've been

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[ Saitoh lifts his hand to caress Tokio's cheek and looks mildly amazed as he sees his fingers tremble slightly. As she runs her hands over his shoulders, down his chest, and delicately rakes her nails across his stomach, a wicked little smile slowly appears on his face. He puts his arms around her and starts to pull her sash loose. As he struggles with her obi, Tokio reaches behind her back and guides his hands. The obi slips to the ground and the outer kimono soon follows. She returns the favor, her fingers deftly peeling off his shirt, then undoing his belt. Both their hands help as he strips off his pants and carelessly tosses them off to the side. ]

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You were licking your lips

And your lipstick shining

I was dying just to ask for a taste

We were lying together in a silver lining

By the light of the moon

You know there's not another moment

Not another moment

Not another moment to waste

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[ Saitoh unties the sash holding Tokio's inner kimono closed. As the sash and the cotton robe falls to the ground, he gently lowers her naked body down onto the pool of fabric. She smiles up at him and holds out her arms in an unmistakable invitation and welcome. The torches burning in the shrine suddenly flare, causing the eyes of the great stone wolf carved on the shrine's wall to glow with an amber light. Stone ripples like water as the wolf carving seems to come to life as Saitoh sinks down beside Tokio and leans over her, claiming her with a fierce kiss. ]

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And then you took the words right out of my mouth

Oh it must have been while you were kissing me

You took the words right out of my mouth

And I swear it's true

I was just about to say I love you

Love you

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* * *

==== Tokyo, winter, 1871 (4th year Meiji) ====

"Sir? Inspector!"

A startled Saitoh blinked, then turned to see the woman giving him a slightly worried look.

"You were saying?" he drawled, covering his momentary distraction.

Apparently reassured by his response, the woman grinned and said, "If she affects you like THAT...." She giggled and fanned herself briskly.

Saitoh coughed and looked just a bit embarrassed.

"Here you go, Inspector," she said, handing him a carefully wrapped package.

Still a bit flustered by his uncharacteristic lapse of attention, Saitoh fiddled with the angle of his sword, then accepted the package.

Just before he stepped out of the store, he paused and said, "What's your name?"

The frumpy-looking woman smiled and said, "Maki. My name's Maki."

Saitoh placed his hat on his head, gave her a slight bow, and disappeared out into the falling snow.

* * *

Maki waited a few minutes. When she was certain that Saitoh was well on his way back home, her body shifted, gaining both height and beauty as she returned to her true form.

"Oh, he's got it bad for you, Tokio," Maki said with a chuckle as she remembered the mildly bemused expression on Saitoh's face. She didn't know exactly which memories caused that look, but knowing her sister....

"And who would think that the infamous Saitoh Hajime could be such a romantic?"

* * *

Tokio stood waiting for him at the front door, as she always did, regardless of whether he had been gone for a day or for months. He stepped inside the house, then with a small quirk to his lips, he silently handed her the package. She held it a moment, then seeing his slight nod, she unwrapped it.

Opening the sandalwood box, she pulled out the band of beatiful gray silk with an appreciative gasp. A smile crept across her face as she saw the patterns so carefully woven and sewn into the obi. Taking a quick step forward, she put her hands on his shoulders and placed a warm, soft kiss on his lips.

"I love you," Tokio purred.

Saitoh Hajime smiled smugly and returned her kiss with a great deal of enthusiasm.

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And then you took the words right out of my mouth

Oh it must have been while you were kissing me

You took the words right out of my mouth

And I swear it's true

I was just about to say I love you

Love you

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Keeper and Mistress of Duo's Dark Side
Co-Keeper of Duo's Scythe & Bat Wings
Co-Keeper of the Little Grim Reaper
Duo no Seishi ~~~ Saitoh no Koibito
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madamhydra@aol.com /\/\/\/\/\/\/\/:E
http://www.geocities.com/madamhydra/
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Disclaimer

All rights and privileges to Rurouni Kenshin belong to Nobuhiro Watsuki, Shuiesha, Sony Music Entertainment, and associated parties. The characters of these series are used WITHOUT permission for the purpose of entertainment only. This work of fiction is not meant for sale or profit.

Original portion of the fiction included here is considered to be the sole property and copyrighted to the author.
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