He was dark and looked dangerous but he was also beautiful in a cutthroat way, just like someone she once knew. So while the other waitresses shied away from his table she sauntered over and smiled, recalling the glimmering feral eyes of someone lost in her past. Mild surprise brewed in his eyes at the dreamy, faraway smile of the young, beautiful waitress.

"Can I get you anything to drink sir?"

Her voice was lively and he decided that he liked it, liked her with her trusting, worldly gaze and bright, doe eyes.

"Sake," he grunted.

This garnered another smile and a small laugh. The laugh was reminiscent and indulgent, speaking of fond memories.

She swished away on long, shapely legs and disappeared into the kitchen.

She returned shortly with a bottle and small cup and wordlessly poured for him. He was surprised at her lackadaisical mannerisms towards one such as himself. He knew he was intimidating, yet this slip of a girl was completely unafraid. She took his food order and disappeared again.

She cut through the crowded teahouse with ease, bearing a steaming plate of dumplings for him and a bowl of miso. She set down his food and drifted away, unfazed by his dark eyes that had lost their hard edge and peered at her with unfettered wonder.

He waited outside until the lights in the teahouse went out and a small, pretty girl bustled out. Her voice was raised and she was whacking a kitchen boy over the head, spouting off words no pretty young girl should know. He growled at the kitchen boy and watched in amusement as he scampered off immediately. She beamed up at him and started in the direction of her small hut. He ambled along beside her, taking up the role of valiant protector, a fact which made him laugh.

"So, when did you get off the island," she asked offhandedly.

"You know I am Ryukuyan and you calmly letting me walk you home?"

"You guys don't scare me," she laughed. "I was once very fond of one of your kind."

"Oh? And what was his name?"

"He was a convict named Mugen and I miss him everyday."

They had arrived at a small smattering of huts and she approached a small patched up one with a little garden outside. She faced him with a brilliant smile.

"Thanks for the walk back," she smiled.

"You should be more careful. Take care girlie."

The dark man grinned lopsidedly at the man who had just plunked down at his table. He nudged the bottle of sake towards the new arrival with a drunken shout of a Ryukyuian greeting. The newcomer took a swig and surveyed his new drinking buddy.

"Hey, if youuur goin through that town up ahead you should go to this one teahouse. There's this young pretty thing that smiles at you like you grew up in a castle in Edo."

"Yeah man?"

"Yeah, she ain't the least bit scared of Ryukyuians. Said she knew one once. Shoulda seen the way she smiled when she talked about him. Lucky bastard shoulda never left such a pretty girl."

The man smiled and his feral eyes glimmered in the dull light of the bar. He idly scratched the back of his neck while he surveyed the drunken man.

"Is that so?"

"Yeah, some guy named Mugen. They musta been fuckin. I'll tell you what, if she wasn't so nice to me I might have had a go."

The man's face split into a lazy smirk and a chill went through the drunken man at the underlying promise of violence as the man crossed blue-banded arms across his chest.

"Good thing you didn't buddy, I woulda had to cut your throat wide open."

With an easy smile the man hoisted himself to his feet and meandered out of the bar, his geta clad feet shuffling him towards the next town.