DISCLAIMER: Rurouni Kenshin belongs to Nobuhiro Watsuki.
"I know it's mad, but if I go to Hell
Will you come with me or just leave?
I know it's mad, but if the world were ending
Would you kiss me or just leave me?" - Panic! At The Disco, "Do You Know What I'm Seeing?"
-- If I Go To Hell, Will You Come With Me? --
"Just watch the kid for me, while I go enjoy myself."
Those were the first words Makoto Shishio ever spoke to Yumi Komagata. And, truth be told, she was a little offended. Not by the way he spoke to her or the even words themselves, but she was offended that he had singled her out as the child's babysitter and picked one of the other (plainer, less experienced) young women to be his companion for the night. Not that she particularly wanted the job of pleasuring a man who looked like a living mummy... but still, being the one who was ordered to watch the child struck a nerve.
Watching the boy wasn't a difficult task. The child just sat beside her quietly with a dumb smile on his face. Yumi didn't ask his name and he didn't offer it, so she ended up just calling him "boy" - both in her mind and out loud.
A small eternity passed.
Yumi slipped the pocket watch - the watch that she usually only used for timing her... business transactions - out of her kimono sleeve and checked the time. Had it really only been five mintues?
She tucked the watch away again, and sighed.
The boy turned his head and looked at her curiously.
"Is something wrong, nee-san?" the child asked, that insipid smile still firmly in place.
"My name is Yumi," she ground out through gritted teeth. She didn't know what it was about the boy, but for some odd reason he irritated her to no end.
"Is something wrong, Yumi-san?" he tried again, this time using her name instead of the generic term for an older-sister-type person.
She flashed him a fake smile, as fake as - or perhaps even faker than - the one the boy himself was wearing, and said, "No, nothing's wrong."
But something was wrong.
Not a full minute had passed after Yumi's declaration that nothing was wrong when they heard a piercing scream from the other end of the building. It was a woman's voice, and it was not a sound of pleasure.
"Boy! Stay right here."
Yumi was already up and running toward the source of the disturbance when she snapped out the command. The child, who had started to stand up with his hand on his sword, slumped back down into a sitting position. Yumi hadn't noticed before that (nor did she now take even a moment to wonder why) the boy had a sword.
The sliding door rattled in its tracks as Yumi opened it with more force than was necessary. The scene inside the room almost made Yumi want to laugh - almost.
The terrified young "companion" had retreated to a corner of the room and was now crying quietly, still half-undressed.
Shishio had pulled his kimono back on over his mostly-unraveled bandages but was just standing there with a shell-shocked expression on his face. True, he hadn't made a good impression on Yumi earlier, but what was visible of his skin forced her to worry for his well-being despite whatever qualms she might have regarding his personality.
She put her hand on his elbow - his left, the one that he'd actually put through the sleeve - and he allowed her guide him out of the room and back through the hallway to the front room where they collected the boy, and on down another hallway to another room.
"This is my personal room," she informed them, as the two settled themselves. "Please stay here. I'm going to get a doctor."
"For her?" Shishio inquired, meaning his "companion" whose name he'd already forgotten.
Yumi was already halfway out the door and didn't turn around when she answered.
"No, for you."
The door slid shut behind her.
-to be continued-
A/N: In case you couldn't tell, Sojiro is still really young here. Maybe about a year has passed since he joined up with Shishio.
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