The Golden Locket
'Thoughts in Chinese'
Xiao shifted the pack on her back once more before she continued to walk down the darkening streets of Juuban. Her black Chinese styled shoes were beginning to hurt her feet from all the walking she had done. The sun was almost gone from the horizon completely and the stars were starting to appear brighter than they were just an hour ago.
'I wonder how long I've been walking…it feels like days.' Xiao thought just as her stomach decided to rumble loudly.
Xiao sighed as she stopped and placed her pack down and leaned against a wall.
"I haven't eaten a thing all day, I thought I would have found father and my sisters by now…maybe I should have thought this through a bit more." Xiao ran a hand through her long dark hair as she looked up at the full moon that now took the place of the sun.
At that very moment the door to her left opened slowly and a middle-aged woman with dark reddish brown hair walked out dressed in a kimono. She turned to look at Xiao and gasped.
"Oh my! Are you alright, dear?" She asked propping a long package on the wall and walking over to Xiao.
Xiao stood up quickly and bowed to the woman. "Oh! Forgive me ma'am, I didn't mean to lean up against your house like that. It's just that I'm so tired from my journey, I'll go now."
The woman sadly watched the young girl pick up her pack and start to walk off before she collapsed on the spot.
"Oh dear!" She gasped running over to the fallen girl. She propped her head up on her lap and brushed her dark bangs away from her eyes.
"You poor thing, I bet you've been walking all day. Well I won't have it, I'll take you inside and fix you up."
The woman picked up the young girl and carried her inside her house, up the stairs and into the guess room she had.
The woman ringed out the wet rag once more before placing the cold compress back on the young girl's forehead. She had been up all night tending to the girl only leaving to refill the bowl with cold water and to make her something to eat. The ramen she made was mostly broth, which she easily made the girl drink. During the night the girl had nightmare calling out for someone in another language, she even started to cry at one point.
"You poor thing, you must have been through so much…but you're so young." She sighed moving to pick up the rag again when the girl stirred.
"Ugh…" She moaned her eyes fluttering open slowly.
"You're awake!" The woman smiled.
Xiao bolted up at the sound of an unfamiliar voice. As she sat up she took in the unfamiliar room and the unfamiliar woman sitting by her side.
"Who are you? What do you want with me? Where am I? Tell me!" She demanded in her home tongue.
The older woman blinked a few times, "I can't understand you dear, I only speak Japanese."
The young girl blinked taking in what the woman had just said. "J-Japanese? I'm in Japan?"
The woman smiled. "Yes, child, this is Japan."
The girl sighed holding a hand to her chest. "Oh good, I was afraid I dreamt the whole thing." Then she stopped and looked around the room at the empty soup bowls, the rag that had fallen from her forehead and the bowl of cold water that stood by the woman.
Xiao blushed and looked down at her hands in shame. "I-I am so sorry ma'am I didn't mean to yell at you like that. I was just shocked and confused. I want to thank you for taking care of me like you did."
The woman waved her off. "It was nothing, dear, what did you expect me to do? You collapsed on my doorstep for heaven's sake! I couldn't leave you there, so I took you in and fixed you up as best I could." She smiled again and fixed her kimono before bowing before the young girl.
"I am Nodoka Saotome. It's nice to meet you."
Xiao blushed again quickly doing the same. "I am… Xiao Qian, an Amazon from a small village in China. I thank you Saotome-san for taking care of me like you did. Please allow me to repay you."
Nodoka laughed lightly. "Oh no dear, you don't have to pay me back."
Xiao sat up and fixed her jaw; she reached over and took Nodoka's hands in her own. "Please, I insist."
Nodoka looked down at Xiao's hands over her own and thought about what she was asking of her. Then an idea came to mind. She removed her hands from Xiao's and stood up and began picking up the bowls in the room.
"Xiao can I ask you why you've come to Japan?"
Xiao shrugged "I'm looking for someone…and my family as well."
Nodoka nodded. "I see and do you have a place to stay while you're looking for these people?"
Xiao looked down sadly. "No I don't, I thought I would have been able to find my family by now but I didn't realize how big Japan really was…now I have no place to go."
Nodoka laughed lightly. "Yes you do, as 'payment' for taking care of you I want you to stay here with me. I will provide you with a roof over your head and food on the table for as long as you need it."
Xiao looked up at Nodoka with big round eyes. "Really?"
Nodoka nodded "Yes, just as long as you get an education while you're here, it might do you some good to learn the customs around here before you run into trouble."
Ok! That was fun, ne? I though it would be cool if Xiao lived with Ranma's mom instead of finding the Tendo's right off the bat.
Oh and what school should I make Xiao go to? Furinkain or a rival school in Juuban? It's up to you guys so vote, if you don't I'll do it for ya Later!