Chapter 1

I don't own any of this- except for Anna of course! Thanks for starting to read this, and tell me if it's actually worth continuing or not… This is my first try at a Last Samurai fic, so it won't be perfect; but I always have room for tips and ideas!

Note: Original dialogue or whatever in Japanese is underlined, so everything's in English... Tell me if you think it'd be better a different way.

The blue waves of the ocean once again awoke Anna Harper as she lay in her small bed. With a soft groan she rolled onto her back. She hadn't exactly become used to the constant churning of the ship yet; and Japan couldn't come to her sooner. But she was doing her duty to her country, to England; and she would have to risk nausea every once in a while if she was going to get the job done.

Outside of her small porthole the sky was a dangerous gray. The first time she had seen it, about a week ago, it had worried her. Yet now it was just another part of her journey; hopefully one that would be grounded soon. Anna wasn't exactly one that was crazy about the water.

Anna pulled on a dress as she tried to make herself as presentable as possible. The cobalt trim on the dress matched her eyes and the rest was a soft baby blue. It wasn't an overly expensive dress; but it wasn't one that a middle class person would wear. It was always a philosophy of her father's that if you had money you should show it. This concept was slowly but surely becoming one of Anna's own.

It must have been night when Anna walked out onto the deck of the large boat. There was a rumbling of thunder was in the distance, and a small flash of lightening could be seen hopping from cloud to cloud on the horizon. When she reached the railing she noticed the flecks of stars reflected by the dark water. It was beautiful in a way… One that she had never explored before. A shiver ran down her spine as a breeze blew past her. It blew through her dress and chilled her skin; blowing strands of strawberry blonde bangs into her eyes. Yes, she knew how to speak the Japanese language; but her father had always told her that the country had a mysterious sense to it. Somehow Anna couldn't help but be excited at the thought of an adventure.

There was a pause the first time Anna laid eyes on Japan. Of course she had seen pictures. Her father had shown them to her himself. But the country was so much more beautiful in person. Time seemed to stop, and Anna would never forget the image of how green the grass was, seeing mountains in the distance, and actually seeing some of the Japanese residents for the first time. This pause did not last long enough though; soon she snapped back into reality as she heard her name being called over and over again.

"Miss Harper," A slightly short and round man had his hands cupped around his mouth as he called to her. His red hair was neatly combed to the side and every moment or so he would have to adjust his glasses. "Miss Harper!" Anna raised her head slightly to acknowledge him, and then rushed down the ramp with both arms full of luggage.

"Oh, there you are, love. I was beginning to think you're father had sent you to Singapore instead." The man joked, laughing at himself for a moment before realizing that Anna wasn't laughing along. He cleared his throat. "Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Simon Graham, and you're father is a former colleague of mine."

Anna stood in silence briefly before responding. "Oh… Umm, that's nice." There was another awkward moment. "Are you the one I'm here to help translate for?" She asked; she had not been given much detail when her father informed her of her job. She wasn't exactly supposed to talk about what she was doing.

Simon chuckled. "Heavens no. I'm actually quite fluent in the language myself," He informed her, turning slightly to call for a carriage. "You'll be helping Captain Nathan Algren… Although I must say I was quite surprised to see you step off of that ship. You're father said that he would be sending a talented apprentice of his, but I would have never dreamed that you would be the one."

Anna's face became red with embarrassment and slight anger. She was tired of people underestimating her abilities just because she was a woman. "You'll be glad to know then that I'm also quite fluent in the language; almost as much as my father is." The thought of her father's quick tongue helped to calm her; she had grown up practically speaking the two languages. Simon took her bags and placed them into the carriage, never noticing her change of mood.

"Yes; yes I am."

Delicate women in long, beautiful kimonos seemed to surround Anna. She had been aware of the clothes that the natives would be wearing, but once more the actual sight of everyone around her was anything but boring. Simon had insisted that she practice her casual Japanese while being shown to her hotel room. Anna was convinced that he wouldn't have done such a thing for a male interpreter.

"Thank you." Anna said to her 'bag boy' before she shut the door, turning to survey her place for the night. Simon had said that tomorrow she would be taken to her new home and meet the Captain; and if Anna thought about it long enough butterflies began to form in her stomach. This really wasn't a job for women; but once Anna had her mind set on the job she could be quite stubborn. Being raised as an only child with only a father could do that to a girl. Her father had learned what the consequences could be of Anna not getting her way.

"Did you enjoy your stay?" Simon asked Anna. He gestured to the carriage outside as the young attendant delivered her bags. Anna nodded briefly before carefully sitting down.

"It was- quiet." Anna explained, picking up the paper menu that was written in Japanese. She wasn't as quick in oriental writing as she was the language. She took a glance around her and leaned over to whisper to Simon. "Don't you ever get tired of eating rice?" She asked. She had always had variations to her meals each day.

"Oh, no." Simon laughed. "There are always other things to eat; but rice is of course the favorite around here. I should think you would know that."

Anna sat back into her chair and forced her eyes onto the intricate characters on the menu before her. So maybe she didn't know everything about the country. But if this Nathan Algren wanted to be able to recite an English novel in Japanese, she was the person he needed. Simon proceeded to order for himself and took it into his duty to order for Anna too.

"So, how old are you now Anna? I remember the last time I saw you; you were only a little tyke; stumbling around at your father's heels." Simon let out another crack of light laughter. "You were quite the daddy's little angel, I must say."

Anna glanced up from the table. "Oh, thank you… Nineteen a few months ago."

"My, my; aren't you due to be whisked off and married now?" Simon asked, accepting the green tea that he had ordered moments before. "I would have thought that you would have been bid off sooner than now; your father being so high up and all."

Once again Anna didn't respond. There had been a few proposals to her in the past; a duke or two and such. Each time she would find a way to wriggle out of it. The idea of being married to an old man didn't exactly appeal to Anna. This trip to Japan was yet another plot to get out of the entanglement of yet another engagement plan.

After a long pause of silence and delicately eating; Simon spoke. He coughed into a handkerchief before looking at his watch. "I do say it's about time for us to leave… You need to be settled into your new home and meet Captain Algren." He informed her. Not long after that had they left to lead Anna into her new place in the world.

A/N: I know it was a little short; but I thought it might be good for a first try ;). I do have a plan for this, so tell me if I should continue it or if it's so bad I should just kill it… Thanks!