Note: I owe this story to EK, who responded to my call for drabbles with a request for a cat-fight between Yukino and Nasami, with Shichiroji caught in the middle. When I posted this story for her, she absolutely loved it. And it was great fun to write, but a lot trickier than I thought! After all, how do you write a cat-fight without demeaning the two women involved?
"It's such a pity that she won't get dressed up," Yukino mused, her eyes on the room where Nasami was staying in the Firefly House. "Can you imagine the look in Kambei-sama's eyes when he arrives later tonight if she had her hair and her makeup done?"
"Oh, I'm sure he'd love it," Shichiroji agreed, also glancing over at Nasami's room. "But exactly how are you planning on getting her to do that? She's not usually one for that sort of thing."
"Just leave it to me," Yukino said confidently, turning to head down the hallway to arrange for the evening meal. Then she stopped and looked back at Shichiroji. "But, if things get out of hand, you will protect me, right?"
"If you're going up against Nasami, I'm afraid you're on your own, my love," Shichiroji grinned, holding up his hands, and Yukino glared at him. "I am just an innocent bystander in this one."
"Thanks, Roji, I'll remember that one later." With that, Yukino swept down the hallway, leaving Shichiroji chuckling to himself.
Later that evening...
"Oh, great samurai, I'm SO sorry!" Yukino was practically fluttering around Nasami, where the samuraiko was glaring up at her for dumping an entire tray of food on her by mistake. "I didn't mean to be so clumsy!"
Shichiroji took one look at the samuraiko and immediately focused all of his attention on his food.
Nasami said nothing, but tried unsuccessfully to get the rice out of her hair. Yukino tried to be helpful, but all she succeeded in doing was yanking all the hairpins out of Nasami's hair so that it tumbled down to her hips in disarray. In frustration, Nasami tried to push her hair back from her face, but the sweet sauce that had been on the tray had also ended up on her hands, and she only managed to smear some on her hair and her face as she did so.
"Please, Nasami-sama, I'm sorry, let me help!" Immediately Yukino snatched up a heated face towel and began cleaning Nasami's face as though she were a child, and the samuraiko began to growl. When Nasami opened her mouth to protest, Yukino 'accidentally' covered her mouth with the towel, muffling Nasami's words that she suspected were more than a little scathing.
The samuraiko tried to move away from the geisha, but she ended up getting what food remained on the remnants of the tray on her clothes as she did so, and let out a curse that made Shichiroji nearly choke on his rice trying not to laugh.
Yukino smearing wasabi all over Nasami's clothes trying to remove it was not what Nasami had in mind, until finally the other woman practically shoved Yukino away from her to try and stand.
With a little gasp, Yukino rocked backward, trying to keep her balance, but as she reached out to stop herself from falling, she grabbed hold of Nasami's kimono sleeve, and tore it as she fell.
"Oh!" The geisha's horrified cry was drowned out by Nasami's howl of frustration, and Shichiroji hunkered down over his tray doing his best to pretend he was part of the tatami mats on the floor. "Oh, Nasami-sama, your clothes, oh, no!" Immediately Yukino clapped her hands to summon several servants, who were 'conveniently' waiting outside the room. "Please escort Nasami-sama to the baths at once! I'll be there in a moment to provide a replacement for her clothing, and I'll take care of her hair when she's finished."
Before Nasami could protest, two serving women ushered her out of the room, and Yukino managed to hang onto her composure for a count of five before giving in to a fit of giggles. Then she saw the awestruck look on Shichiroji's face, and laughed even harder.