This is like, my first real fanfic so bear with me if it sucks, it will get better…I hope.

Ch: 1 : hits like a kick in the…

It was around noon and a tall, thin, dark-looking man in a trenchcoat was getting tired of waiting. It's hard to look threatening for so long. But this was where the Battosai was staying and if he found his challenger here, he'd have to fight again. Andthe dark manwould finally have his rematch. Just then he heard a rustle outside. He went out to investigate…nothing but thick forest. But the air had a funny feeling to it. Like a faint smell he couldn't place. The tall man looked for a few seconds longer then shrugged and turned to go inside. Suddenly there was a bright flash and a small girl with chin-length light brown hair suddenly flew out from behind a group of bushes. Her body collided with the dark man's back and the both of them were sent foreward to get a facefull of earth. "naniwoiutennen?" which in japaneese means , "what the hell?" he turned to see the kid holding her head and moaning in pain. "owwwww."

She had strange clothes. A jacket with a zipper that had a hood and two strings that came out of two holes on either side of the neck, her pants were a brownish, army green, and had many pockets, she also had a strange-looking bag hanging from her shoulder. Plus, it was obvious that this girl was not Japaneese, with her light hair and skin. Plus, her grey-blue eyes that were not native to Japan. Where did she come from? And what was that flash? The man figured that she must've been a friend of the battousai's who tried to distract him with the flash while battousai made a run for it…she'd obviously screwed up. He grabbed her by the collar and demanded, (in Japanese) "where is the battousai?" she answered only with a blank stare.

She only heard jibberish. The girl couldn't understand a word of Japaneese. Wasn't this just a great day. First she gets lost, then she gets flung into a hole, and now some tall, scary-looking guy in a purple jumpsuit and a trench coat had her by the collar and was demanding something of her in a foreign language. "I-I don't understand you…sir." He looked even more angry now. Then he finially spoke English, "who do you think you're kidding? Not even the stupidest tourist comes to Japan without learning Japanese first!" he lifted her up so she was eye level. It finially hit her how tall he was when her feet were a foot and a half off the ground but his eyes were only now eye level. "I will ask you only once more…" he said glaring at her, "where is the Battousai?" the kid was even more confused now than when he was yelling in Japaneese. "the who now?"

"DON'T PLAY STUPID WITH ME, CHILD! I AM NOT GULLIBLE NOR PATIENT!" the man yelled, the Kid looked scared for a moment then her defiant look returned almost instantly, "LOOK PAL," she yelled back at him, "I DON'T KNOW WHO THIS 'BATTOUSAI' IS OR WHO YOU THINK YOU ARE, BUT I DO KNOW THIS CAN'T BE LEGAL!" nobody had dared use such a tone with him before, nobody was bold enough, or stupid enough for that matter. But this little child obviously had a deathwish. his grip tightened on the kid's jacket. Now the girl knew she should be afraid.

"the Battousai has left for Kyoto." The tall man turned to see Hajime Saito, a fairly well-known cop, standing by the fence surrounding the Dojo. "and why should I trust an officer of the law for tip-offs on a mission that is illegal?"

'wow,' the girl thought, still suspended in the air, 'this guy must be nuts! Or a genius!' He went seamlessly from English to japaneese without even stopping to think. "I really don't care what happens to the Battousai, but, if you could do the world a favor, don't do too much damage to him before you loose, he'll still need to defeat Makoto Shishio after he's done with you." Saito said with a cold stare, "but now that you have your information, I'd suggest you let the kid go. Somebody is bound to be looking for her."

The kid, of course, didn't understand a word and thought they were plotting her death. She began to panic, what was she gonna do? She suddenly got an evil idea…but she'd probably have to wait for the one with the slicked-back hair( he may have been a cop,) to go away. She could only do the trick once then run. The tall guy's grip loosened a little on her collar and the cop turned and left. The kid took her chance and brought her knee up as fast and hard as she could. Judging by how quickly he dropped her and fell to the ground in a tight little ball shuddering in pain, she'd hit right on target. "well that's what you get for messing with a swimmer, a good hard kick in the nads! Hahahaha! You can't even walk for a while!"

"you forget one thing…" the man muttered from the ground, "I still have full use of my arms," Lee stopped laughing, "huh?" his arm shot out and pulled the girl's foot out from under her. She fell and hit her head on her bag. Everything went black

It was, indeed, a few hours before he could walk again. That kid was going to pay now! A few minutes later, The kid woke up and looked up it was obvious she was afraid now but tried her damndest not to show it. "well, well, well," he said, "what to do with you? I can't possibly let you get away with this, but I really don't feel like seeing a child's blood right before dinner. So I'm at a loss." Okay, the kid now knew it. This guy was crazy. The small girl began to tremble, what could she do? She couldn't run, she knew this guy could catch her in three strides. She tried to think. Apparently this whole town thought they were in the beginning of the Meiji era in Japan, think, what was going on back then? She spotted the very long sword and sheath. 'of course, The sword ban!'

"I could carry your sword!" the tall man turned around looking confused, "huh? What are you…"

"I could carry your sword so you don't get in trouble for the sword ban!" The tall man thought for a moment or two. "fine," he tossed the sheathed sword to the girl. "you take the wrap for the swords and I'll bust you out every time you get caught."

"swords? There's more than one?" the girl asked examining the handle seeing if somehow it split or something. "pull the other end." The tall man said, turning to leave. The girl did as the man told and another sword came out of it. Two swords in one sheath. Clever. The girl ran to catch up. "sooooo, what's your name?"

The man looked at her for a moment, "Aoshi, Aoshi Shinomori. And yourself?"

"Amy Lee, ya know, like the singer." The girl tried to joke, Aoshi gave her a dark glare, "heh, guess not. but most people just call me Lee."

"well Lee, get ready, I do not tolerate asinine behavior and you will not get any sympathy from me for any reason." Aoshi said, face still showing no emotion. He began to walk to the outskirts of town "let's go."

By the time Aoshi and lee made it out of town it was already nightfall. The kid was already starting to look rather sleepy, so Aoshi decided to set up camp. "stop, we sleep here tonight." Lee looked around at the small clearing,

"Y'mean on the ground?" she asked.

"of course on the ground," Aoshi sighed, "where else did you expect? An inn? Remember that neither of us have money." The girl still looked a little uneasy,

"but…but what about the wild animals and lions and tigers and elephants"(after a while Aoshi quit paying attention and got started on working on a fire) "and creepy crawlie things…and you!"

Aoshi turned around sharply at the last comment and gave the girl an evil glare. "what?" he growled. The girl didn't seem to notice his death glare and went right on talking, "I mean honestly, where I come from they'd put you a way for a long time for kidnapping a kid but you really don't seem to care! Are you a rebel or just crazy!" Aoshi did not answer her, the truth was probably a little of both but he figured she didn't need to know that…what use was it to pour out his black little heart to some kid he just met. "you should go find some food." He said sharply, totally ignoring Lee's question.

"what?" She asked, bewildered. "if you want to eat…" Aoshi said coldly, " then I suggest you find yourself some food." He walked off toward a river he'd spotted when they were walking, where there was water there were animals and where there were animals there was food.

Lee followed him into the trees, 'He's been out here for a lot longer than I have,' she thought, 'if I follow him I'll probably find food….and what a jerk he is! He wouldn't even give me any pointers as to how to even get food!' she slinked along behind him, hiding behind trees to keep out of sight, for he looked behind himself a lot. Finally he stopped and spoke, "child, there's no need to hide from me I never said you couldn't follow me to a food source." Astonished, Lee stepped out from behind a tree, "how'd you know?"

"please, you run so loudly, I could've stabbed you in the dark" he said looking over his shoulder at her, "come on you may be lucky enough to catch a fish or two."

Once they reached the river, Aoshi casually grabbed a dead branch off a tree, it had a nasty point to it. He kept walking right to the edge of the water then stopped and raised the "spear". Lee watched with curiosity, Aoshi's eyes flicked from one point to another like a cat. Then…without warning, there was a splash and the tree branch was no longer in his hand. Lee had to wait a few seconds before she realized what had happened. Aoshi grabbed the stick out of the water, revealing a fish impaled on one end.

"That was awesome!" Lee yelled from the tree line. "think so?" he said casually then walked way to another spot and got another stick. Now Lee decided she would have to try that too. She found a stick with a pretty nice point on it and walked to the edge of the water, she saw a fish stop for a moment and she threw the stick at it. Somewhere between Lee's hand and the water, the stick turned and landed sideways, scaring away all the fish.

She tried this three more times with the same results. "DAMN IT!" she yelled in frustration, once more scaring away the fish. "screw it, I give up." Lee said, throwing down the stick. She stomped away, planning to go back to the fire and toss anything that looked like a fish into it, but then she spotted a bush full of berries, "ah! That always works,"

"Are you sure those are safe to eat?" said a deep voice from behind her. Aoshi had been watching her in amusement for some time now. "only one way to find out isn't there?" Lee said, with a little more venom in her voice than she'd intended. She began to pick them off and put them in her hand one by one. "if you insist." Aoshi said nonchalantly, and walked off with the four fish he'd caught over his shoulder, still impaled on the sticks that had been their doom.

'he knows something I don't doesn't he?' Lee thought to herself as she watched him disappear into the trees. She dropped about half of the berries she picked, 'there, if they are poisonous, I'll only eat a little so I won't get sick.' Then she ran into the trees after him.

"those berries…..they ain't nearly as filling as I thought they'd be" Lee said…still starving. Aoshi shook his head, he knew the berries were safe to eat, but he really didn't think the kid would take his comment seriously. Lee laid down and her stomach growled, she muttered something about always keeping a spare pack of "prin-guls" () with her at all times from now on. Whatever "prin-guls" were. Lee's stomach growled in agony again and Aoshi caved, he tossed her one of the fish. Even though it hit her in the face she grinned and ate it like she'd had nothing else to eat for weeks. "THANK YOU SOOOOO MUCH!" she yelled, face full of fish. "I hate seeing children in pain, that's all." He said quietly. He laid down next to the fire and stared up at the sky, one thing had bothered him since they left Tokyo, 'why is Shishio back from the supposed dead? And what quarrel does he have with Battousai?'

"sooooooooooo" Lee said, breaking Aoshi's train of thought, "who's this 'Batto-si' person you were yelling about?" Aoshi turned to look at Lee sitting on the other side of the fire looking at him curiously, "Battosai," he began, "is the strongest swordsman in Japan. I need to defeat him" Lee cocked her head to one side, "Why're you so mad at him? He owe ya money?" Aoshi almost smiled at her last comment "No, it's nothing personal…I simply need to take his title as the strongest" He said, still staring into space, "for some friends of mine."

Now Lee was really confused, but his last sentence was so pain-filled that she decided not to press the matter…even is the man was a psychotic, kidnapping, Jerk. "And you?" said his dark voice from behind the fire, "why were you hiding in the bushes of his dwelling if you aren't a friend of his?" Lee shook her head, "I don't know."

"hmm?"

"I was walking home from school when this jerk came and took my notebook, I ran after him because all the stories I wrote were in there along with my character sketches. I could see him all the way into the forest preserve but then he suddenly disappeared, It looked like he'd fallen into a hole, but I got to the place where he disappeared and only my notebook was there, I looked into the hole and there was what looked like water but it had a weird sheen to it like maybe oil was on top of it but weirder still was the fact that there weren't any ripples in it." Aoshi sat up at that point, "No ripples? Even though someone had just fallen in?" Lee shook her head, "none, so I kept on looking into it, trying to figure out what was goin' on when it started turning white and I just lost balance and fell in, next thing I know I'm hurtling out of the water into you but I wasn't even wet."

"how is that…" Aoshi started to ask but his voice trailed off and he decided not to ask. So he just shrugged and laid down again, he determined it could wait till morning, and fell asleep.

"sooo then Aoshi, you have another companion do you? That's fine. She can most definitely prove useful. Just don't get too attatched." He opened his eyes and there he stood, the other him, a perfect replica except for those icy blue eyes. Those eyes that knew no mercy or compassion. "we all know how easily you get attached to things with short lives, you'll just end up being tortured again." That voice that occasionally whispered to him in his waking hours still sent chills down his spine. "why have you come to me again? I have no need for you, go away!" Aoshi snapped at his alter-ego, even though he knew it wouldn't obey. The world he was in now was twisted, dis-colored, and disturbingly similar to the world he now saw regularly when he was awake, the only difference was him, his dark twin with the Icy eyes, he did not appear in the waking world. Now, the world Aoshi saw when he was asleep was not always this twisted and disturbing, nor was the one he saw when he was awake. But that night at Kanryu's mansion changed everything, he'd blanked out and woke to find his inner world twisted and deformed as it was now, and slowly, the waking world grew to be just as deformed as the one in his dreams. Aoshi figured that this probably meant he was totally insane.

"why are you here?" Aoshi snapped at his twin, "to torment me further?" the Other Him smirked, "you always assume the worst of me, I am simply here to warn you not to get too attached to the kid, even if you get to be friends with her, you know that sooner or later she will find you revolting just like the rest of the world." Aoshi glared at Him for a bit before the Other Him grinned widely and waved to him, "just a friendly reminder, Aoshi, good bye." The Inner World slipped away and all was dark again.