Disclaimer: I don't own Rurouni Kenshin or any of its characters blah, blah, blah don't sue me they belong to Nobuhiro Watsuki.
Very special thanks to Mo Mo, LazyCatfish27, Tri17, Lady Tokyo, Sora Miyara, and Buffalocatz for reviewing!!! It always makes my day to receive reviews especially for this story because Yumi and Shishio are not as popular as I think they should be so I love hearing from fellow fans ()
Author's Note: Sorry for the late update! I have been so busy with finishing projects and graduating that I have just not had time to write. I thought I would be able to a little bit while I was on vacation in Japan (I was quite inspired while in Kyoto) but alas I'm on my flight home right now and this has been the first time that I have been able to write! Please forgive me!
She had no idea where she was, where she was going, or what to expect next. Although Shishio had been quite affectionate back in his room in Kyoto, he now sat across from her silent and introverted. In fact, he had hardly even glanced at her. But Yumi knew better than to ask questions or complain. She was eternally grateful to her lover for taking her away from that wretched place and she put her whole faith into the manslayer. She knew that wherever he led her she would be satisfied as long as she was by his side. With that thought in mind, she slowly closed her eyes and fell asleep to the gentle rocking of the carriage.
Shishio smirked slightly at Yumi's sleeping form. Although they had made love many times she had always left not long after and he had not had the pleasure of seeing her like this. He had to admit that he enjoyed seeing the usually sassy woman calm and relaxed. She was so fascinating to him in every way. He was in awe of the strength she had shown in leaving the courtesan house and how she had not asked him a single question about their destination. She had blindly followed him into a new life, which displayed just how deep her loyalty ran.
"Or she knew that nothing could be worse than the red light district," Shishio mused. It was true that he had invited her along but that did not mean that he trusted her completely. If the Meiji government had taught him anything it was that trust is a dangerous thing. And Yumi was so beautiful it was still hard to believe that she could love him, a charcoaled monster. But here she was, vulnerable and faithful. It made his insides and mind twist in confusion. He had not perceived just how lonely he had been before her and now that she was in his grasp he wanted to possess her fully, which meant that he had to know just how true she really was.
"Mister Shishio," Soujiro called from outside, "We're here."
Smiling faintly, the warrior gently leaned across the coach and breathed in his lover's scent before whispering, "Yumi…" The former oiran stirred and moaned softly. "We're home."
Immediately her eyes snapped open in excitement and surprise. She hadn't thought that she had been asleep that long. Could they really have arrived so soon? What kind of home did Lord Shishio live in? Her mind was racing, but she remained collected on the outside. "How long was I asleep?"
"Not long. It wasn't a lengthy journey," he answered with a bit of amusement in his voice. "We're on Mt. Hiei."
"But that's just right outside the city!" Yumi gasped, "Is it safe?"
Shishio laughed at her alarm, causing a slight blush of embarrassment to grace her pale cheeks. "Of course it is. You'll see." Seeing the curiosity dancing in her large eyes, he grasped her hand and led her out of the coach.
But to Yumi's confusion there seemed to be nothing there. She wrinkled her nose and looked around again as if a house of some sort would suddenly appear. Shishio chuckled slightly and pulled on her hand. "Come on."
Normally Yumi would find traipsing around in the woods most disagreeable but since her kimono was already ruined and she couldn't get much dirtier she didn't mind. And besides that she was too lost in thought about her new surroundings to really care. Soujiro walked merrily in front of them, carrying he and Shishio's belongings. They obviously knew where they were going but Yumi couldn't see how. They were deep in the forest now and everything looked the same to her. "I see now why he laughed at the notion of anyone finding us," she thought.
Finally, a cave of some sort came into view. Shishio's grip on her hand tightened and he began to move more quickly. "Stay close. If you get lost you won't be able to find your way out," Shishio warned. Her eyes widened momentarily before she, too, quickened her pace to match his.
The cave was dark and murky but she could just make out some sort of path. As her eyes began to adjust she soon realized that they were not alone. Hundreds of bones – the skeletons of men – graced the floor of the cave. Her natural reaction would have been to scream and run in the other direction. However, the last thing she wanted was to show any sort of fear in front of Lord Shishio. Instead, she merely gulped and continued walking forward. Shishio looked back at her from the corner of his eye. Once again she was showing herself to be an impressive woman. He knew that she was scared. He could tell from the tension in her grip and the shortness in her breath. But she was quite determined to be brave in his presence.
"This mansion is an old labyrinth, Ms. Yumi," Soujiro explained also sensing her discomfort, "Only Lord Shishio and I know the way but you will get the hang out it soon enough." Yumi nodded silently and tried to ignore the dingy skulls staring up at her.
Soon they arrived inside the main part of the mansion, which was nothing like the graveyard outside for which Yumi was quite thankful. It was well lit with beautiful wooden floors and a seemingly endless amount of hallways and rooms. "I'll show her around from here, Soujiro," Shishio told the younger boy, "Go see what you can find for dinner."
"Yes, Mister Shishio," Soujiro replied with a smile and a bow.
"Come on, this way," Shishio said, already making his way down one of the halls. Yumi smiled and followed happily.
Komagata Yumi was positive that she couldn't have been more pleased with a house. It seemed to have everything from libraries to Shishio's very own training ground. There was at least 10 bedrooms and more than one study. He showed her every room proudly and she made mental notes about each – their location, purpose, and style. She was determined not to burden to Lord Shishio and get lost. Each room seemed to please her more and more but she still had not set eyes upon the one room she really wanted to see: Lord's Shishio's quarters. Finally they came to the last wing of the mansion, which only had a few rooms. "One of these must belong to Lord Shishio!"
Shishio slid open one of the sliding doors to reveal a stunning traditional Japanese style bedroom with tatami mat flooring. It was the largest bedroom she had seen yet but it was devoid of any personal effects, which led her to believe that this was not his room. "This will be your room," he informed her.
Yumi whipped around a bit surprised. She had not expected to have a room herself… much less one so large. It was one of the kindest gestures she had ever received and yet she found herself somewhat… disappointed. She had hoped to be staying in the same room as her lover. "Don't be silly, Yumi!" she scolded herself inwardly, "Of course he wants his privacy… it's not like you are his wife or anything." She forced a smile and bowed. "Thank you, Lord Shishio, I am most grateful… It's beautiful."
Shishio cocked his head to the side slightly, sensing her disappointment. He had thought that she would be more than pleased with this room since it was the nicest besides his own. "I know it's a bit bare but I'll send for some furniture and kimono tomorrow. Soujiro will bring you a yukata to wear tonight when he comes back with dinner," he said quickly, hoping that that was the cause of her discontent.
"Oh no it's perfect!" Yumi began, realizing his misinterpretation. "I don't know how to thank you…"
"There's no need for that," Shishio said dismissively. "My room is just down the hall. I'll let you get settled in."
She nodded and bowed, desperately trying to hide her sinking heart. However, Shishio could clearly see that she was still upset about something. "What's wrong, Yumi?" He asked sternly.
"Nothing, Lord Shishio," She answered quickly and smiled.
Shishio frowned and crossed his arms. "Yumi, you aren't a oiran any longer; you don't have to lie to men in order to please them. Now what's wrong? I'll only ask once more."
Licking her lips apprehensively, she felt her cheeks become hot and she looked away from his probing crimson eyes. He was right, of course, but she was still not used to speaking her desires. "Well I better get used to it since Lord Shishio will have it no other way it seems." She shrugged her shoulders slightly and whispered, "Well I was hoping to see your quarters, Lord Shishio."
Shishio grinned and headed for the door. "You'll see plenty of it after dinner," he remarked huskily and slid the door shut.
Yumi's heart skipped a beat. Her new life was starting out quite agreeably.
During dinner, Shishio and Yumi hardly said a word to each other. She was too busy listening to Soujiro's chattering about everything from the food to the lair and all the rooms in it. She smiled sweetly and took note of what was important but was distracted by her lover's staring from across the table. Lord Shishio had not taken his eyes off her since she walked in the room. And Yumi knew it wasn't so much lust as judging. He was testing her again as he had done during their first visits in Kyoto. "But why? Have I not proven my loyalty enough by running away with him?" Her heart became uneasy.
At the conclusion of dinner, as promised, Shishio took Yumi to his quarters. Still anxious, Yumi felt reckless and found herself unable to take in the large, tastefully decorated room with the zeal she would have earlier. She wanted to know why he was judging her again, putting her on the outside. All she wanted to was help him in all his endeavors, to be useful. Couldn't he see she was no threat?
"Do you like it here, Yumi?" Shishio whispered her ear from behind.
Yumi bit her lip and sighed, "Yes, very much, Lord Shishio."
He grinned and began to make a trail of hot kisses down her neck. "You don't have to refer to me so formally when we are alone. What occurs in these quarters remains solely between you and me… do you understand?" He asked in a voice that seemed almost desperate.
Yumi turned to face him and was shocked at the longing eyes that peered out behind the many bandages. "He must be so lonely… and tired. He has been so strong for such a long time. It must be exhausting. I'll do whatever it takes to relieve of you what pain you have, my love. Haruka, you're wrong. I will be useful to him. I'll make sure of it." She wrapped her arms around his waste and gently pulled him into her warm embrace. "I understand, Shishio," she murmured and lightly ran her fingers up and down his back.
He let out a deep breath, which he had not even realized he had been holding. She was exactly right in her thoughts. He was exhausted… of everything. His body never seemed to stop aching, his mind was always calculating new ways to destroy the government, and his heart had become as hard as stone. He could feel himself on the verge of insanity. Everything that had happened to him – the betrayal, the horrible memories of waking up in a forest of flames, watching his enemies take what was rightfully his – was driving him crazy. He was obsessed with all of it.
But Yumi provided an outlet for all that. Somehow she was able to sooth not only his pain but also his soul. He couldn't trust her just yet, but he could at least share a little bit of himself with her. Not enough for her to become a liability but enough to keep him from drowning mentally. Growling softly, he grabbed her hair and pulled her back into a rough kiss. Yumi gasped in alarm, for although he had been rough before he had never been this dominant. His kiss was so powerful and devouring that she thought she was going to faint. But she wouldn't. This was his way of showing and sharing his pain with her. He literally ripped her yukata off of her. Yumi tried to keep up by pulling at his kimono but Shishio had other plans, turning her until her arms rested against the side of the four-poster bed with her back facing him. She panted heavily and a bit apprehensively for she had no idea what her lover was up to.
Shishio took a step back to fully view his new woman. Lightly he let his fingers trace from her lower back, to her cheeks, and thighs. Yumi felt her cheeks turn hot as he stared at her in her most vulnerable position. This wasn't anything new to her of course; almost all of her clients had demanded she bend over for them. But this was the first time Shishio had looked upon her in this way. After a few minutes, Shishio sucked in a deep breath and began to take off his kimono. Already hard from the sight of her, he positioned himself at her entrance. "You're so beautiful, Yumi," he said in a very solemn tone. Yumi felt chills run up her spine. She sighed and was about to thank him when suddenly he entered her very roughly. She gasped from the pain and felt tears grace the rims of her eyes. Shishio leaned over and gripped her clenched fists. Despite the pain he knew he was causing, the manslayer continued to pound into her. "You're too beautiful," He panted, "How could such a beautiful woman be interested in a disfigured murderer like me? What are you up to? What do you really want from me? Do you see what you make me do? You make me think about you… distracting me from my goals!"
"But I want to help you achieve your goals!" Yumi choked out. The raw sincerity of her voice made Shishio stop immediately. She sighed in relief of the pain. Panting heavily, he buried his face in the crook of her neck. "But why? It doesn't make logical sense," He whispered.
"It doesn't have to," She murmured, letting the tears fall down her cheeks freely, "How can you not see? You with your probing eyes?" Shishio lifted his face and looked deeply at the side of her face. After taking a few breaths of courage, she turned and met his crimson eyes. Her dark eyes were wide open for him to view inside. She was completely and utterly vulnerable to him, staring at him like many of his victims had done right before he slaughtered them. In this moment, she was putting her life in his hands. Something that only someone who genuinely loved him would do. He sighed and kissed her cheek. "Yumi… I," He began to apologize but she rubbed her cheek against his nose and whispered, "I understand, Shishio. Are you not going to start where you left off?" Shishio grinned and growled softly as he began his thrusting again, but this time with less force, putting her pleasure first to make up for his rough test… Which she had passed.
Author's Note: 5th chapter finished! Yumi is getting closer and closer to Shishio's heart. Again, I'm sorry for the late update. Please Review!!! It keeps me writing!