Disclaimer: The characters from RK do not belong to me,
however, if they do not appear in RK, then they are mine!


"Let The Reason Be Love"
by Joy

Chapter 1

The air was cold, and the stars have slowly disappeared from the sky,
as the sun prepared to greet the land for a new day. The Aoiya,
although closed, was already alive with activity. The Okashira's
bride would arrive around noon, and there was still so much to do.
Everything had to be perfect for her arrival. While the servants are
doing last minutes arrangements, two men from different generations
sat in the privacy in a room known only to a few. Shinomori Aoshi
read the latest reports from Tokyo, his mentor Okina sat before him,
patiently waiting to be addressed. Aoshi placed the papers back in a
small box and locked it.

"What time will she arrive?" he asked, not looking at the older man.

"She should be here before lunch..." Okina replied. He cleared his
throat, which caused Aoshi to look at him.

"Are you sure that this is a wise decision, Aoshi?"

Aoshi merely raised his eyebrows in response. Okina sighed "This is
no place for a young girl Aoshi, she does not belong here, let alone
to be your wife!"

"As I understand, this marriage would throw off any... scent to
our occupation."

"Then why not marry one of our own?" the older man asked, almost in
exasperation.

"Are you questioning my decisions Okina?" Aoshi asked smoothly. He
stood up from his sitting position and walked towards the door. "We
have talked about this before Okina, we will not discuss this matter
any further. Understood?"

Okina shook his head, and met Aoshi's eyes. "Hai." he replied
as he stood up. "I understand," Aoshi opened the shoji and prepared
to step out, but not before Okina asked him a question. "Do you even
know the girl's name?"

Aoshi seemed to tilt his head sideways upon hearing the question.
Okina was somehow challenging him, Ever since his decision to move
to Kyoto before the Oniwabanshuu was discovered in Tokyo. He gazed
at the older man's face, his own advisor, as his father's as well. A
smile so small formed in his lips that Okina missed it completely.
"Makimachi. Makimachi Misao."

*******************************************************









At that precise moment, Makimachi Misao sat inside a carriage.
In a few hours, she would arrive in Kyoto, and marry a man she has
never met. There was a whole new life waiting for her in Kyoto, a life
without her friends, where she was going to be all alone. She took deep
breaths to prevent any tears from falling from her eyes. With her
were two women, who's names she discovered were Okon and Omasu, and
were to tend to her, and help prepare her for the wedding ceremony.
She would not even catch a glimpse of her future husband until the
ceremony. The fates could be so cruel. Her family owed some very
important people money. If her uncle hadn't sold her to the man in
Kyoto, she would have had become a geisha. Marrying one man she
didn't know could be better than serving a lot of men she didn't know.

To learn about her parent's death and their many debts in one day was
too much for a young girl to bare. How she wished her parents were
still alive, then she can ride her father's horse and be free of all this
constraints. Now, at fifteen, she was about to become a wife. The
passing scenery did nothing to ease Misao's heart. Thoughts about her
husband to be raced through her head. 'Is he nice?', 'Will he like
me? Will I like him?', 'Will I...'

She never had a chance to finish her thoughts when another question
sprang into her mind. She looked at the two older women who were also
lost deeply in thought. She cleared her throat to get their
attention.

"Yes, Misao-san?" The one called Okon asked. Misao looked at the
woman with confusion.

"Why did you address me as 'san?'" she asked, Okon and Omasu
looked at each other before Okon replied.

"You are to become our mistress, 'chan' hardly seemed appropriate"

Misao simply bowed her head down "What is his name?"

Omasu looked at the girl in surprise. "You do not know his name?"

"I was told nothing of him, except that he lives in Kyoto."

Okon and Omasu exchanged worried looks. The girl was about
to get married to their Okashira, and is unknowingly involving herself
with the Oniwabanshuu. They were under the impression that the girl
was given even a small amount of information before coming out to
Kyoto.

"They told you... nothing?" Omasu asked softly.

Misao raised her head and gazed at the two women before her.
"Nothing"

"Shinomori. Shinomori Aoshi." Okon replied. She saw Misao whisper the
name as she looked out of the carriage.





"Will... will you tell me about him?"

Against her better judgement, Okon gave a small encouraging smile to
the girl. "What do you wish to learn?"

~TBC~