Oh mai, another three-shot by Saya? Indeed, Saya couldn't help herself, she likes doing short stories like this, because giving herself a limit sort of forces Saya to speed up the plot of a story in a way that she wouldn't do otherwise. Besides, Saya's been dying to write Kanda as a geisha for the longest time..!
Disclaimer: Saya doesn't own the characters. Also, please note that while Saya researched a lot for this fic, it is by no means historically accurate, and Saya knows that, so don't bother telling her that she's got some wrong facts in here.
Rated: This chapter is perfectly K+. Later chapters will not be.
Kanda Yuu did not understand why he was the one who was sold. Kanda did not understand a lot of things, but at the moment, that was what was most prominent in his mind. Why had it been he who was forced to leave? Why did anyone need to be sold in the first place, and why him? Since when were sons sold anyway? Granted, he was the youngest of his three siblings, but still, it was most unusual for a family to sell off their son. He had an older sister, and while he wouldn't wish this on her, he didn't understand how he came to be the one who was sold off.
It was all because of his good-for-nothing father, Kanda decided. They were a poor family and even Kanda's mother worked out at the docks with his father. The only one who didn't work was his older sister, because she was now of marrying age, and their parents didn't want her to scar her hands or injure herself working. Kanda's father hoped above all else that she would marry someone rich. Even Kanda worked, though he was only 7 and therefore couldn't do much of the really hard work that brought in the most money.
But despite this, Kanda's family was horribly poor, and it was definitely his father's fault. His father, who gambled away in hopes of winning a fortune, rather than saving the little money they made. What the man didn't spend gambling, he spent drinking away his problems. Then he had the gall to blame everyone else; blame his wife for raising lazy children, blame his daughter for not being a lady worth marrying, blame his eldest son for not sending the family enough money, blame Kanda for not being big enough to be of use. Everything was always everyone else's fault, and boy, did he let them know it.
And so, deciding that having one son working away from home wasn't enough, Kanda's father sold him to some strange place in Kyoto. Kanda had always wanted to see the ancient capital, but not like this. Kanda's mother begged his father not to sell him, but nothing could stop the man once he'd heard how much his son would be bought for.
So after numerous examinations that left Kanda feeling afraid and invaded, money left reluctant hands and was readily taken into his father's greedy ones. A moment later, Kanda was torn from his sobbing mother and thrown into a barred couch. It did not sink in until long after his voice had gone horse from yelling for his mother, until after he had grown too tired to fight against the hands that restrained him, until after he was left with no voice and nothing else to do but sit in the corner of the couch and sob dryly because his tears had dried up, that he had been sold and would never be able to return home. He had seen his mother for the last time, he would never know if his sister ever did get married, and he would never again receive hopeful letters from his loving brother who was working in Tokyo. His only solace was that he would never again have to see his mother be beaten by his father, or be hit himself.
Time passed with no measure as the country side gave way to towns and cities, and before Kanda realized it, he was in the city of Kyoto. The road was lined with shops, businesses, homes, and beautiful sweeping trees. For a moment, Kanda managed to forget his circumstances as he admired the passing city.
Eventually, the coach pulled to a stop in front of a large building, that Kanda would later find out was an okiya(1). He was roughly pulled out of the carriage and dragged into the okiya. He was too tired to resist anything anymore, but he was also too numb to function, so he just let the men who'd brought him here sit him down and take off his shoes before entering the okiya.
As he was brought up into the hall, he passed what had to be the most beautiful woman he'd ever seen in his life. Her long ebony hair was swept up into an intricate bun at the top of her head, with a fringe that framed her thin face perfectly, the lowest layer of her hair hanging down her back. A pale blue kimono made of the finest silk and embroidered with silver was wrapped around the woman, her azure blue obi and eri accentuating her pale features. A charming smile rested on her lips, and as she stopped in the entry way to put on her zori, a servant struck two pieces of flint together over her back for good luck.
Once the woman was gone, Kanda shook his head and looked forward again. He was led to a room at the very end of the main hallway, and told to bow at the door. He did as told and a moment later the door was opened, and the scent of smoke hit his nostrils. He was told to enter and kneel, so he quickly came in and sat before a man who was smoking a pipe. Said man looked rather young, and had outlandish straw-colored hair and dark blue eyes. The man was handsome in a sort of exotic way, and Kanda wondered if he was really Japanese, or a foreigner. He was calm and yet seemed very intimidating.
"So this is the one you just brought in all the way from the countryside, right?" The man asked, inspecting Kanda with his eyes. The two who escorted him nodded, and were then dismissed. As soon as the two were gone, the man suddenly seemed to become less composed and frightening. Kanda relaxed a bit at this.
"Your name is Kanda Yuu, right?" Kanda nodded. "My name is Bak Chan, but you'll be calling me Oto-san. Do you know where you are right now, Kanda-san?" Kanda shook his head no. Bak sighed to this, secretly wishing his little errand boys would inform their charges of what was happening to them. Perhaps they would be less frightened if they knew they were coming to an okiya and not a brothel.
"You're in the Chan okiya, which is located in a special corner of the hanamachi district of Kamishichiken(2). This okiya is not for your typical geisha, however," Bak explained; half of what he said was going right over Kanda's head. Bak paid no mind to Kanda's confusion and just continued on.
"This section of Kamishichiken is reserved for patrons with...unique tastes. All the geishas here are males, and you, who have been sold here, will train to become one yourself." Kanda tried hard not to show just how dumbfounded he was. A geisha? Weren't those supposed to be beautiful women? And did that mean the woman he'd seen leaving the okiya was actually a man? Kanda found himself slightly uncomfortable with that thought.
"I don't get it," Kanda said honestly. "I can't be a geisha, so why am I here, really?" Bak sighed once again, because he really didn't want to explain this to a child but there seemed to be nothing else he could do.
"Your parents sold you to me, because they needed money and I was willing to pay a good price because I need new apprentices. You now have to take on the debt your family created when they sold you to me by working here to earn back the money I paid to get you. You'll also have to pay back the cost of your schooling. This is a male geisha okiya and you will work here, odd idea I know, but get used to it." Kanda's shock was renewed by this information. He couldn't believe it, his parents had really sent him off to become a...a geisha.
After this new information had set in, along with the reoccurring fact that he had been sold and his own fatigue, Kanda felt himself black out.
"Hey, onii-chan, I think he's waking up now!"
Kanda woke up to a soft, dainty voice calling out to an unknown figure. He next noticed a cool weight on his forehead, and realized it was a wet cloth. His eyes slowly cracked open, and he saw a small, round face hovering over his own, wide, violet-colored eyes staring down at him. The girl's lips parted into a smile when she saw his eyelids flutter open, and she sat up straight and motioned for the other person, who was apparently her brother, to come over.
"Ah, so he's rejoined the world of the waking, hm?" The man asked, smiling kindly down at Kanda. The man looked slightly familiar, but in his current state Kanda couldn't remember who he was. Slowly, Kanda sat up, as he did he felt small hands on his back helping him. He gave the two strangers inquiring looks, before inspecting the room he was in.
The floor was all tatami matting, almost empty except for a few hastily made futons and a dresser. Kanda noted two sliding doors, one which most likely lead to a closet or storage room, and the other to a hallway. Looking to the two people in the room, he saw that the girl was smaller than he was, she was probably a year or two younger too. She had mid-length black hair that was tied up in pig-tails, and was clothed in a simple checkered yukata. Her brother had long black hair similar to her own tied back in a low ponytail, a slim pale face and eyes that were a few shades darker than the girl's. He was also clothed in a light-colored yukata, though it was obviously of a much higher quality. Finally, on the bridge of his nose sat a pair of angular glasses.
"Wh-who are you...?" Kanda asked, slightly annoyed with the feeble tone in his voice. The young girl smiled when she heard his voice.
"My name is Lee Lenalee, and that's my onii-chan, Komui. What's your name?"
"...Kanda...Kanda Yuu, and where am I now?" Kanda realized after he asked that he must still be in the okiya he'd been sold to. He supposed it would be a good idea to learn where in the okiya he was though.
"You're in the servant's quarters of the Chan Okiya," the older of the siblings, Komui, answered. "It's rather plain but this is where you'll be staying for the time being, at least until you've finished your shikomi(3) training."
Shikomi training? What was that? Was it some kind of training for the job he'd apparently be doing? Kanda's confusion must've shown on his face, for Komui continued on to explain that shikomi was the first level of his training to become a geisha. Kanda would work as a servant in the okiya, and go to school to learn the basics of the geisha arts. Kanda could do that, he was used to doing housework. Apparently, this stage of training would last until he was proficient in the arts, and Kanda secretly wondered if he could keep himself at this level his whole life if he just purposely failed his classes.
"So for now you'll be rooming with me, and the other four apprentice geisha living here," Lenalee said, smiling as though this was the best thing that had happened all year. "I hope we can be good friends!"
Kanda raised an eyebrow to this, wondering if he really wanted to make any friends at all, but reluctantly answered, "...Friends...sure."
A few months of peace and repetitiveness passed for Yuu at the okiya, and he found that Lenalee had indeed become his friend, though he hadn't exactly wanted to make any. Still, being with someone who could get a little annoying occasionally was much better than being alone in this odd place, he decided. Besides, he needed someone to fill the silence with chatter while he worked.
There was one other kid too, who was about his age, that was also an apprentice. Daisya was much more lively than Lenalee was, and tended to be much more of a troublemaker too. Unlike Kanda, he was not beautiful in a feminine way, and was really more handsome in a boyish way. Yuu supposed that once the boy's hair grew out that problem could be fixed with enough makeup.
And boy, did geisha wear enough makeup. He had to help Komui with his in the mornings, and even he wore quite a bit of it, though apparently because he was a full-fledged geisha, he was wearing less than Daisya and Kanda would when they became maiko(4). The reason had something to do with natural beauty and some other stuff that Kanda didn't really pay attention to.
Today started out like any other day, Kanda woke and changed into his school's uniform yukata, then woke Lenalee and helped her prepare breakfast. He brought breakfast to Oto-san, before leaving with Daisya and the other three apprentices (who didn't have the patience to put up with Kanda's cold attitude) for school.
Their first class was dance, which Kanda oddly enough excelled at. He tried not to, really, but he seemed to have a natural grace that made it impossible for him to mess up the steps. Even when he did use extreme amounts of willpower to make himself fall out of line or do something wrong, his teacher either dismissed it because it was such a rare occurrence, or considered his mess-up some feat of genius that had somehow made his dance unique. Oh, how Kanda hated that class.
Dance class was only rivaled in hatred by singing class though. Kanda disliked this class for the simple reason that he found it humiliating to sing at all. His voice was nothing special, but he wasn't horrible either, and Kanda was thankful that his skill (or lack thereof) was not pointed out constantly in this class. Oddly enough though, Daisya seemed to do well in this class, though his...unique lyrics and style could've had something to do with it. Kanda decided Daisya was better suited to being a comedian, rather than a geisha.
Instrumental classes were the same as dance classes, much to Kanda's chagrin. His original goal had been to completely fail all of his classes, and this should've been the easiest of them to fail, but them his finicky personality came into play. He had never realized it before, when he was living with his family and could never seem to do anything right, but he simply couldn't stand to not do his best, and he couldn't stand not being the best when he could be. So Kanda practiced more than he wanted to or needed to, paid close attention to his sensei's instructions, and excelled in that class as well. Splendid.
After lunch Kanda had tea ceremony, ikebana, and calligraphy classes. He somewhat liked calligraphy because he was learning how to write better, which was practical, but the other two classes bored him to no end, though he was apparently a wonderful tea server with a knack for making lovely flower arraignments and had a wonderful aesthetic sense. Kanda wished it were easier to fail.
"Really Kanda-san, you could be every sensei's darlin' if you just lost the "I really don't want to be here" attitude," Daisya commented, as they left the school grounds for their okiya. Kanda shot Daisya a withering glare, before sighing out his exhaustion from the day.
"I can't act like I want to be here when I don't. I just wish that having a bad attitude was enough to fail..."
"Geez, you're at the top of most of your classes and yet ya wanna fail. If it makes you feel any better, you fail at failing, at least. Still, what I wouldn't do for your marks..." Daisya trailed off, imagining a self that could play the shamisen without making even himself cringe at the sound. He had practically been raised in the okiya, so he couldn't really understand what Kanda had against being an apprentice geisha there. Sure, Daisya understood that it hadn't been Kanda's choice to live how he did and would, but he couldn't understand just how Kanda really felt, and therefore would never understand why Kanda couldn't just get over it and live happily.
Likewise though, Kanda, who had been forced into this lifestyle, couldn't understand why Daisya liked it so much. He realized that Daisya had been raised to think the okiya was a great and wonderful place and that he had chosen to be there, but he couldn't wrap his head around the idea of being happy and perfectly content with studying to be a professional cross-dresser.
Sighing again, this time in a more irate manner, Kanda quickened his pace so that he could reach what he was now slowly accepting as his new home sooner. At first he'd felt alone at the okiya, and he did his best to make himself as isolated as possible. He hadn't wanted anything to do with that world or the people in it, and really he still didn't. But all too quickly, the kind, welcoming atmosphere had corroded away the walls he'd built around himself. Well, at the very least, compared to his old home, this place was warm and more like what a home should've been like.
"Okairi, Kanda-kun, Dai-kun!" Lenalee greeted the two of them at the front of the okiya as they stepped into the yard. Daisya waved to her enthusiastically, and Kanda gave something more like a quick flick of the wrist. The two boys quickly changed out of their uniforms and into working clothes, so that they could help Lenalee with whatever chore she was doing at the moment.
As it turned out, she was cleaning the floors. So she, Daisya, and Kanda lined up together with their hands pressing wash cloths onto the floor, and ran down the hall in three straight lines in the parody of a race. Kanda won of course, because he had the longest gait and the most leg strength. Cleaning was much easier this way, though they couldn't do such things while working on other chores.
After they had circled the okiya's wrap-around porch and lost all of their breath in the process, the three collapsed at a turn, breathing heavily, Lenalee and Daisya laughing while Kanda tried his best not to let a smile escape him.
"Ever the winner, hm Kanda-kun?" Daisya asked, smiling slyly in Kanda's direction. "You couldn't even find it in yerself to be a gentleman and let the lady win. For shame." Daisya shook his head in mock-disappointment, for which Lenalee hit him over the head with a rolled up wash-cloth playfully.
"Hey! I'm just makin' a point on your behalf!" Daisya huffed. Lenalee and Kanda both rolled their eyes.
"Che, where I come from girls win their own races and don't depend on men to let them. Lenalee will get faster and eventually beat me. Eventually," Kanda stressed, as though he didn't want to be beaten by her too soon.
"Hmph, what kinda place did you grow up in? All I can make out about the place is that they don't teach boys to be chivalrous," Daisya said, without any real seriousness. He himself had been raised to always treat a lady with respect, but that was primarily because even their okiya's strange little corner of the hanamachi was controlled by women, and therefore it was an inborn trait in the men to kiss up to them.
"What kind of place did you grow up in? The only thing anyone seems to have taught you is to treat women like porcelain instead of like human beings. That and how to cross-dress to impress," Kanda shot back, and Daisya had the grace to look a bit embarrassed about the cross-dressing point. Or maybe the 'treat women like porcelain' point, whichever it was Kanda hardly cared.
"Well, for your information, I grew up right here in this okiya," Daisya said with a hint of pride. Lenalee gave Daisya a look that said she'd heard this story a million times, but would stick around to hear it again. Kanda raised an eyebrow, but gave no other indication to the fact that he was somewhat interested in what Daisya had to say.
"Yup, I was born and raised in the hanamachi. My birth mother was a geisha in one of the normal okiya whose danna had gotten her pregnant. She died in the birthing process, and the stupid guy didn't want his wife finding out about me. Since no one knew what to do with me, they sent me here. I was raised here by Bak and Komui and Fou! They have been the greatest family I could've hoped for, and I am proud of what they have taught me, and what they have planned for me!" Kanda decided that entire story had led up to Daisya saying he had not been embarrassed about the cross-dressing comment after all. Still, it explained a whole lot, even though it had been a rather simple version of the story.
Kanda's mind did not stay on the actual story long though, for a question had formed in his mind. "Who's Fou?" he asked, giving Lenalee and Daisya curious looks.
"Fou is Bak-san's assistant," Lenalee said helpfully. "She's very kind, though somewhat..."
"Brutish is the word the big Oto-san uses," Daisya finished. "They argue a lot but Bak never gets rid of her. You'd almost think he enjoys getting knocked 'round by 'er. You could say the person who really runs this place is her and not Bak." Lenalee nodded reluctantly, embarrassed on Bak's behalf.
"Ah, I think I've seen her around, now that you mention it," Kanda said. "She's the one that keeps him in his office all the time, constantly yelling at him to get his work done and what-not."
"Yep, that's Bak's keeper, Fou."
"Ahem." The three froze as someone behind them cleared their throat pointedly. Turning slowly, they all cringed at the sight of Bak, standing with his arms folded over his chest, anger clearly displayed on his face. "So you three gossips have time to sit around and chit-chat but you can't find it in you to finish polishing the floors, hm?" Though Bak kept his voice level, his expression was become more and more fearsome.
Quickly, the kids scrambled for their cleaning supplies, hoping they would be able to get their things and get away before Bak threw one of his (admittedly comical) fits. Before the three could escape though, a rather loud and feminine yell hit their ears with horrendous volume.
"BAKA-BAKU!" Yelled the voice, and the yell was quickly followed by a kick.
"HEY! THAT'S BAK-SAMA TO YOU!" Bak yelled back, pointing accusingly at the small woman who'd kicked him. She huffed and smirked at him, giving the kids a sideways glance.
"Picking on children when you should be sorting out your bills? At this rate you'll get behind again, Baka-Baku." Bak did a full-body twitch when he heard this, and cursed colorfully as the woman, who Kanda decided must have been Fou, dragged Bak back to his office.
"I see..." was all Kanda said, before the three of them decided to get back to work, inwardly laughing all the while.
It was getting late, and though the sun had not yet set, it would sink below the horizon soon enough. Lenalee had woken with a fever that day, and thankfully enough it was Kanda and Daisya's day off from school, so they stayed close to her and watched her carefully in Komui's stead. The man had begged shamelessly to be released from his duties until Lenalee got better, or at least until her fever broke, but a sympathetic yet stern Bak told him that it was impossible and that he should just take solace in that fact that she had friends to look after her.
So Komui had left for his engagements feeling forlorn, and had promised bloody murder to all if his beloved sister was not taken care of properly.
And it was because Lenalee was ill that Kanda was currently outside of the okiya, and outside of the hanamachi as a whole, as a matter of fact. He was given a fairly large amount of money to buy some medicine for the girl who had by now been seen to by a doctor. Said doctor was an old man of small stature, who wore very odd eye make-up and had bizarre hair. He'd never caught the man's name, and it seemed that everyone just referred to him as Doctor anyway, so he would do the same.
That same doctor had told Bak that Lenalee was not simply fevered, and would need some expensive medicine or other that could only be bought at a certain pharmacy outside of the hanamachi. Without thinking, Bak had told Kanda, who was the nearest person at the time, to go and fetch said medicine.
So here Kanda was, outside of his area of familiarity, with a rather large amount of money tucked away in his obi. He felt like he was bait for every mugger in the area, and he didn't like it. Not only that, he was just a tad bit lost, for he had never been out of the hanamachi since he came to the okiya. Thankfully it was still light out, and there weren't too many dubious people on the streets yet, but soon, soon they would be out and about. Kanda hoped he'd reach the pharmacy and exchange the money for medicine before then.
Hoping to speed up the process of purchasing the precious medicine, Kanda walked up to the nearest wholesome-looking establishment he found, and located the owner.
"Excuse me," he said, gaining the kind-looking man's attention. "I'm looking for this place, but I don't really know where to go from here." Kanda held out a scrap of paper that had the pharmacy name on it, and showed the man the name. The elderly man smiled kindly, before informing Kanda that the store he was looking for was just around the next corner. Bowing low in thanks to the man, Kanda left, feeling both embarrassed for having been lost, and relieved that he could finish his chore quickly now.
And that he did. Kanda located the store quickly, had shown the clerk the name of the medicine and the note from the Doctor asking for a week's prescription, and left once he had procured the medicine. However, it seemed he had not been quick enough for by the time he had gotten out of the store and down a few streets, the sun had completely set. Kanda did his best to remember how he'd gotten to where he was, but everything looked different in the light of innumerable lamps. Sure, it was plenty bright on the streets, but they looked so strange and menacing, cast in shadows that moved with the wind.
Kanda could not manage to find any familiar territory, and this was worrying him. But he was not one to panic in such circumstances, and resolved to do what he had done before, even though most of the places he'd have preferred to go into to ask for directions were closing for the night. He would just have to step into a more risky place was all, he thought simply.
Resolute in his decision to get home quickly for Lenalee's sake and for his own, Kanda turned to enter the nearest establishment. Before he could even take a step forward however, a heavy hand fell on his shoulder, and held him back.
"Hey lil' girl, you lost?" Kanda cringed at the way he'd been addressed. It was true that he was a bit thinner than a healthy boy should've been, and his hair did pass his shoulders by an inch or so, but he liked to think that he still looked enough like a boy to be recognized as one when he was seen. Then again, he'd never seen himself from behind as this stranger obviously had, and maybe he didn't want to. It might shatter his illusions about having barely there and discouraged masculine attributes.
"Come play with oji-san and I might bring you home." Kanda shivered in disgust, amazed to find that people actually said things like that. Kanda turned and shrugged the man's hand off.
"I'm a boy, idiot," was all he said, and his raised middle finger was his little p.s.
"Oh, don't be so 'fraid," the man continued on as if he hadn't heard Kanda at all. Now that Kanda was looking at him, it was clear to see he was drunk. Night had only fallen all of ten minutes ago, and this guy had already thrown back enough alcohol to get himself hammered? Kanda decided that this man was quite obviously a slacking drunk who couldn't hold down a job and therefore had far too much time on his hands, which he spent drinking. Kanda hated such people with a passion.
Kanda was about to turn back and walk away from the man when he was taken by the wrist in an unexpectedly tight hold, and dragged off. Kanda fought and resisted as much as he could, spouting out a stream of obscenities that he had learned from Fou, whom he found to be wonderful company, if not a bit of a bad influence.
"Oi! Let go of me you damned drunk!" He yelled as he tried to pry the man's hand off of his wrist. His efforts doubled as fear began to creep forward and eat away at his anger and indignation.
Just as he was starting to get tired from all of his struggling, a third hand, smaller than the man's but larger than Kanda's, grabbed the drunk's own wrist.
"Let go of my friend, you creep," a male voice demanded, it sounded young but determined. Kanda's eyes moved up the person's arm to his face. The boy looked to be in his early teens, with hair a shade of orange Kanda didn't believe could occur naturally in any Japanese person. His messy hair covered a good portion of his face, but Kanda could still see little strings going across his forehead and left cheek. The lone eye that could be seen was a vibrant green that swam in the dim lamp lighting of the street. Kanda decided that this kid must be a foreigner.
Discouraged by an outsider's interference and that outsider's outlandish appearance, the man soon left Kanda alone with the strange boy. However his wrist was only free for but a moment, before the boy had taken it himself and began leading Kanda in the opposite direction the older man had.
At first, Kanda was too stunned to say anything or even resist being led around like this, but soon he found his head again and pulled his hand back. His wrist slid easily from the boy's light grasp.
"Where are you taking me?" Kanda asked, feeling rather shaken and confused at the moment.
"Home. You live at the Chan okiya, right?" The boy replied, to which a surprised Kanda nodded. "Then what are you waiting for kid? Ya can't trust anyone else on this street ta bring you there."
"Then why should I trust you?"
"'Cause I'm going where you're going." Kanda, not sure what to make of this, decided that he would be better off trusting this kid rather than anyone else of the street, and allowed himself to once again be led by the hand.
Kanda didn't realize he liked the hanamachi so much until he was back in it again. He knew these streets, and he knew that the flower town he lived in was much safer than the world beyond its borders. Now that he was in familiar territory, he no longer felt the need to stay with the mysterious boy who was leading him along, but decided that he would allow the boy to lead him the rest of the way; He had said they were going to the same place anyway, right?
Kanda felt truly at ease only when the two of them reached the front entrance of the Chan okiya. The moment he freed Kanda's hand, the redhead turned to leave. Strange, the boy had said they were going to the same place, hadn't he? Maybe he'd just meant they both belonged to the few male okiyas that were all clumped together in the area? Before Kanda could think about his actions, he reached out and grabbed the strange boy's sleeve.
"Ah...Thank you for bringing me back," Kanda said, for his newfound honor would not allow him to let this person walk away without at least thanking him. "I will repay you if the chance ever arises."
The redhead looked back at Kanda, with one eyebrow quirked and a little smile on his face. He turned back to face Yuu, and pat his head in a way that Kanda decided was irritatingly patronizing. Still, he said nothing, for he owed this person for saving him from a creep and bringing him home.
"How about for now you just tell me your name?" The boy asked, with a bright grin. Kanda obliged and introduced himself with a bow.
"Kanda Yuu, hm? I'll be sure to remember that. See you around, Kanda-san." The boy said, and this time Kanda let him walk away. Kanda turned to open the door to the okiya, but it was opened from the inside and revealed Daisya, who all but tackled Kanda to the ground when he saw him.
"Thank goodness! Sorry 'bout sendin' ya out alone. Bak forgot that you've never been out of the hanamachi before. We were so worried that you got lost or abducted or worse! Next time you go out, bring someone with you, ok?" Kanda, already used to Daisya's overly energetic and enthusiastic way of doing things, sighed from his position on the ground under his friend and nodded.
"I'm alright now, I had some help getting back. You can get off of me now."
"Help? Did you get picked up by some perverted oji-san or something?" Daisya asked as he got to his feet and offered Kanda a hand. Kanda took it gave Daisya a look that clearly asked how he knew.
"Yeah, but I got away from him. That wasn't the person I got help from anyway," Kanda said when it seemed like Daisya was getting worried. "Some kid who lives in the hanamachi helped me back."
"Oh, that's good. That old guy didn't do anything to you before you got away right? It'll lower your worth later on if he did." Daisya asked, still looking very concerned.
"No. And what do you mean, lower my worth? What kind of things are you talking about, anyway?"
"I dunno and I don't know. But something like that happened to one of the other apprentices once, and that's what Oto-san asked when he heard."
"Oh," was all Kanda said, and the two of them finally went inside.
It wasn't until Kanda was in the okiya that he realized he'd never bothered to ask the mysterious boy for his name. And it wasn't until he found that same boy in the servant's quarters, sitting right next to the Doctor and speaking with Bak that he realized the redhead might have just become the newest addition to his life.
The wide, amused and decidedly annoying grin the boy had welcomed Kanda with made him wonder if he really wanted this addition.
1. An okiya is like a boarding house for geisha. They live there, and the okiya pays for their schooling and necessities.
2. Kamishichiken is the oldest hanamachi (geisha district) in Northern Kyoto.
3. First stage of a geisha's training, where she goes to school and does daily chores around the okiya.
4. Maiko are apprentice geisha.
5. The hairstyles described in this fic will not be the traditional geisha styles, simply because it'd be a crying shame to bind up everyone's pretty, pretty long hair...go creative rights?
Also, please note that while Saya did her research for this fic to get it as accurate as possible, there will be plenty of discrepancies in it, and the things said in this fic about geisha and their lifestyle should not be considered fact. Clearly this is not historically accurate, so please don't get at Saya over that. That's about it for this a/n. Saya out.