Disclaimer: I do not own any of the Rurouni Kenshin characters or the anime itself.

Author's note: I am sooo friggin' scared right now. My first fic ever! Gasps Go easy on me okay?

Chapter 1 A Deal to Strike

1864. Kyoto.


Saito came into the garden and an image of a little girl appeared before him. She was small, probably not reaching up to half his thighs. But what Saito could definitely point out about the girl was her sour face and scrawny body. She had an ugly yellowish color to her skin which made her look like a sick and dying creature. All in all, the girl was a hideous and ugly child.

Saito shuddered in disgust as he looked at the girl. He hoped this scrawny shrimp wasn't his betrothed.

Suddenly, a much older man appeared from the door of the expensive looking house. He was quite a tall man, though not as tall as Saito was, but tall nonetheless.

He was wearing a simple black robe and looked as if he'd just stepped out of shower.

This man was Kojuro Takagi.

"Hajime!How nice of you to come!" he greeted Saito, welcomingly.

Saito only nodded and didn't trouble himself to reply.

"I see you've already met Tokio, my daughter. She's the one who will become your future wife, Saito" said Kojuro, raising his voice a little so that the girl could hear him.

Tokio, who was plucking out weeds turned to look at her father. Then her gaze ran over Saito and she glared at him.

Saito wasn't taken aback by her rude glare although he was surprised to witness such an ill-mannered action, considering how polite the child's mother was.

Saito didn't really care much about manners though.

"I trust your marriage will give both our families the honor we deserve" said Kojuro.

He gave a sharp look at his daughter and Tokio immediately stopped glaring at Saito.

Again, not bothering to reply, Saito gave a curt nod.

Knowing full well of Hajime Saito's way of thinking, Kojuro decided to leave the two alone.

"Why don't you two get acquainted, then?" he suggested before entering the house again.

Saito walked over to Tokio who was busily digging the earth with a long stick. He thought Tokio was disgusting as she looked like a corpse rather than a living child. Saito had the impression that the girl would stay ugly for the rest of her life and the thought sickened him.

It didn't really matter if she wasn't beautiful, Saito didn't really expect a goddess in his future wife but the child didn't even looked healthy enough for anyone to come in physical contact with.

"How old are you?" asked Saito coldly.

"Ten,why?" replied Tokio not bothering to look at him. Her voice just as cold as his.

"It doesn't matter why!" said Saito, his voice growing in rage.

"What matters here is that I will not tolerate a wife who will disrespect me!"

"I am not your wife!" hissed Tokio, vehemently. She had finally turned to face him.

"I will never be your wife and I sure as hell couldn't care less about it either! Cause, as far as I'm concerned, our marriage is gonna be a loveless one like my mum and dad's!"

Saito took out a cigarette and began smoking.

He had been surprised the girl knew of such adult matters when she was only nine years old. He was just as surprised about how rude Tokio could be.

Being a man of cool control, though, he did not show his feelings.

"You don't want to get married do you?" asked Saito, lazily.

"Of course not!" cried Tokio. "All marriages are bound to get broken up and loveless! It's in it's nature!"

After a moment of silence, Tokio quietly adds "I just have to do it because father told me to. And I can't disobey him…"

Saito knew how much Kojuro disliked Tokio. He could see it the man's eyes.

Some part of him wanted to pity the girl. But pity was not something Hajime Saito was familiar with.

"What an ugly and hideous child you are." He said in monotone."I've never seen anything as ugly as you."

Tokio kept on digging. She didn't think much about her looks and wasn't at all offended by Saito's insult. She knew she was ugly. Everybody said so.

"It doesn't bother me how I look like!" she said, defiantly, staring at the soil.

"But if it does bother you, I don't mind you going out with whatever women you can find, for all I care.We are definitely not gonna fall in love with each other so you might as well know it that I wouldn't care if I hear you going 'round chasing women like nobody's business."

Saito stared at the girl who continued digging a hole in the soil. She had something that put Saito in state of complete relief. No one in their right minds would ever consider going into bed with a girl as ugly as Tokio. And knowing what a lecherous man he was, Saito wished he could just simply show Tokio how grateful he was at her permission to fornicate with what ever women he so desired.

He smiled, a true and satisfied smile that he never showed anyone at all. Tokio could not see this smile however for she was still busily digging her beloved hole.

"I tell you what Tokio, why don't you and I make a deal?" Saito drawled.

At this, Tokio immedately stopped digging and she stood up for the first time since Saito got there.

"Yeah? What kind of deal?" she hissed. Tokio knew that deals were something serious and that when adults striked one it would mean their word. And she knew Saito was no one to fool around with. What ever his deal was, Tokio knew it would require her full attention on it.

"You and I both know that this marriage of ours is not going to work out as the way every one is expecting it to. So, I propose that we strike a deal of what are the terms the both us have to deal with when we're married. Why don't I start first?" Inhaling awesome amount of nicotine and tar into his lungs, Saito didn't even wait for Tokio's answer to his last question.

"I can sleep with whatever woman I desire and you have no objections against that." Saito smirked as he saw Tokio gave a disgusted shudder. She had an expression that seemed to be saying I can't believe any one would ever want to sleep with a serpent like you'

"That's all?" she asked boredly.

"I can smoke all I want" Saito added rather sternly. He waved his cigarette at Tokio knowingly. Tokio giggled, amused by his stupid gesture.

"I have the right to do whatever I please aswell, Saito-san" she said, eyes going seriously still. "I want to be free from any scoldings you might offer me."

Smirking a most satisfied Saito Hajime held out his hand.

"Let's shake on it then." he said gruffly.

Tokio shook his hand firmly, all the while staring into Saito's eyes with renewed hatred. Saito stared back.

When Saito left the Takagi house, he wasn't feeling at all dissappointed to know that his future wife was as ugly as mule. Or the fact that she had the knife-like tongue of snake as well as the manners of bitch.

Infact, Hajime Saito felt no negative feelings at all.The only thought that occupied his mindwas that how such a lovely woman as Nadeshiko Takagi could have given birth to so hideous a child.


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