Disclaimer: Blade of the Immortal does not belong to me

Disclaimer: Blade of the Immortal does not belong to me. It belongs to Hiroaki Samura, which is good since I could never draw as well as he can.


Bath Time

            Rin was a girl with a mission. Not her usual mission of finding her parents murderers and killing them, but a mission nonetheless. She was going to make Manji take a bath.

            She was sick of the sour smell that hung around him, and the way people got out of their way so quickly after they got a whiff of him. Of course, it could just be the look on his face that was doing that…No matter. The bugs that used to inhabit his body were now infesting the house and her. She couldn't take it any longer.

            Rin pulled her hand away from her leg. She had been scratching the bites again. She sighed, and leaned her head against the nearest post. Manji was in town, drinking away his daily allowance. In fact, he was drinking away more than his daily allowance, in the hopes that the drink would make him a bit more malleable.

            Meanwhile, she had gathered up what supplies she could. Some soap, a wash clothe and water she had warmed in the sun all day. Then she had practiced the sword, but eventually gave up in frustration. She could never be as good as Manji or Anotsu anyway, so why was she trying? Depression began to set in, and by the time the sun set the only thing keeping her from a long cry in her room was the thought of it being free of bugs again. When would that blasted man get home? Slowly, her eyes closed and she sank into an exhausted sleep.

            Some time passed, and Rin was brought abruptly awake by a loud thump at her feet. Manji lay in the dust, his eyes squinting even more than usual. He was dirtier than he had been in the morning, if that was possible. She had to lean forward to hear what he was saying.

            "Rin…should be in house…cold…dangerous…sleep…" He lapsed into unconsciousness, and Rin resisted the urge to giggle. She didn't really approve of people getting drunk, but Manji sure was funny when he was. She sobered abruptly, realizing she had to get him into the house. Maybe she had given him a bit too much money…

            She sighed and attempted to lift him. He weighed a lot more than he looked like he should. It took her a moment to realize why. His weapons. Just how many were on him at the moment and where were they? Would he wake up and kill her if she tried to remove them? She decided to chance it.

            She quickly undid his two swords and belt, placing them on the porch behind her. Gingerly, she undid his outer robe, doing her best to hold her breath and avoid the fleas. There was an astonishing array of weaponry underneath. Blades of every type, in every imaginable shape, some still encrusted in blood. He was going to need her to get them sharpened again soon.

            She reached for one, then flinched back in pain. Blood dripped from her fingers. She had been sure that was the handle…Rin ripped off a part of Manji's robe and tied it around her fingers. She reached for the weapon again, determined to finish her mission. It came easily into her hands, and she realized it had been the nearby knuckle knife that cut her. By reaching in at a different angle, she had avoided being cut. From there it was simple to remove the rest, and add them to the growing pile behind her. Manji snored softly throughout the entire process.

            She reached for the last short sword, nestled in his inner robe. Her hand brushed his chest and she froze, a shudder running through her. His chest rose as he took another breath. She turned away, trembling with an unfamiliar feeling. Why did he always cause her so much trouble? But he doesn't really, Rin. He's saved your life more times than you can count, and he cares about you, no matter how crude he can be. Rin shook her head. She knew that, he was just so…annoying.

            Determined, she snatched the last sword out, her eyes shut tightly. She was lucky not to grab the blade, but it was better than, than that, that feeling. She stared at his half undressed body. How was she going to give him a bath if she shuddered at just the touch of his skin? It wasn't fair. He was thwarting her just by sleeping.

            Rin stood up and kicked him. He grunted, and surprised her by opening his eyes.

            "Whaa?" She glared down at him, hands on her hips.

            "You get right in there and take a bath Manji!" He stared up at her, bewildered. Rin tried again.

            "Take. A. Bath." She grabbed his arm, and pulled him up into a vaguely stable position, then dragged him into the house. He mumbled incoherently. She showed him the water and soap, then told him to get to it. The sake must have rendered him strangely docile because he began to undress right there. Rin nearly killed herself trying to get out of the room.

            She ran all the way to the pond, hoping he was actually bathing and not pretending, but unwilling to risk checking up on him.

            Hours later, Rin knew she needed to go back to the house. She was cold, and afraid to spend the night so far from her protector. She walked back slowly, listening for any sound that might tell her what Manji was doing. Light flickered inside the house, but when she put her ear to the wall, all she heard was Manji's soft snoring.

Rin walked in, intending to roll into her blanket, but was stopped by the site of Manji on the floor. He had taken a bath all right. She could tell because he wasn't wearing a stitch of clothing. Rin wanted to bolt, but found herself rooted to the floor. Her eyes drank in his body.

There were the expected scars. So many that she winced in sympathy. And all those had been made before he became immortal…His skin glowed ivory in the flickering light and she realized his skin was very pale. She had just never seen it without a layer of dirt. His muscles stretched out under his skin, perfectly defined from years of training, and somehow never ruined by the copious amounts of sake he drank. Unconsciously, her eyes traveled lower, and she found her mouth dry. Damn him!

Rin grabbed her blanket from the wall, and rushed out of the room. She huddled on the porch, surrounded by Manji's forgotten weapons. Her heartbeat slowly returned to normal, and she smiled to herself before she fell asleep.

Mission complete.


Now this is my first Blade of the Immortal fic (and it's in a different style then I usually write), so please review and tell me if it worked.