Mulan Factor

Chapter 6

"Hurry up Yuui!" Tomoyo called, waving Fai over to the crowd. Fai glanced over at her, nervousness sending a spasm of butterflies in his stomach, as reality hit him. He was about to get married… and to another man!

He let out a long sigh, and ran as daintily as he could over to Tomoyo. It would take him a while to get used to being called Yuui, but so far he had it down. For the last several hours he'd learned more then he had in his whole life. He'd learned how a woman sat properly; he learned how to fix his hair in any style, and how to put on make up. How to properly pour tea and how to 'satisfy' a man, though, thankfully, he'd only been told about that, not shown.

"Hmm… that was a good run…" Tomoyo commented, as he finally stopped in front of her. "Not too fast, and not too slow. Excellent, you're a fast learner Ms. Flowright." Yet another thing he would have to get used to: being called a girl.

"Thank you," he said, with a nervous smile.

She smiled up at him. "It's alright, you shouldn't be nervous. You've got Yuuko as a Match Maker. She's the best one there is, although she is a bit eccentric…"

"A bit is an understatement." Souma commented.

"So… What are we waiting for?" Fai asked, looking around through the crowd. He'd never really gone to the city much, so most of the sites still fascinated him.

"We're waiting for the gong to ring. Once that rings, you're to step up and head towards that building." Tomoyo explained, pointing at said building. "I suggest that you get in the back, and follow the movements of the girls before you. After that – "

The gong was struck, cutting off Tomoyos sentence. Fai panicked, as Tomoyo started pushing him forward. "What comes next?" he whispered frantically.

"Just follow what the other girls do!" Tomoyo whispered hurriedly, shoving a dark blue paracel in his hands.

She pushed him out of the crowd. He quickly glanced around and saw a line of women walking towards the building. He jogged over to them and hurriedly copied their poses. Parasol facing downwards, held about mid stomach, with chin held up, confidently

They got closer to the building, and suddenly the girls at the front went separate ways. He panicked slightly, not knowing which way he should go. But he held in a sigh of relief when he realized that they were just lining up in front of the building; and by the look of things he would be in the middle.

He stopped walking when he was centered with the rest of them. There was a slight pause, before the girls opened their parcels, and bowed down low to the ground, Fai just one step behind them.

Fai could practically hear his heart pounding in his chest, and the nervous butterflies still hadn't finished swarming in his stomach. Silence filled the area, but Fai couldn't see anything that was going on in front of him, thanks to the parasol blocking his view.

The voice of an elder woman called out through the crowd. "Tonya Ruby,"

Fai glanced around quickly for the girl, and he finally spotted her when she stood up.

The girl stood up, folded her parasol neatly, and bowed deeply, at who Fai guess to be her Match Maker. Tomoyo had explained to him earlier that each 'bride-to-be' got their own personal Match Maker for the day.

Soon the line of girls had thinned out, and Fai was one of the last remaining girls.

The sound of high heels clomping on the wooden surface of the deck caught his attention. "Yuui Flowright," a sultry voice called out. Fai blinked noting that the voice was a lot younger then the rest of the other Match Makers that he had heard.

He stood up, his muscles protesting a bit, from having sat in the same position for too long. He quickly followed the movement that he had seen every other girl do. Closing his parasol, and bowing deeply, he got his first glimpse of his Match Maker.

She had knee length, long black hair with red-violet eyes, which focused on him with amusement. She was beautiful, and had a sense of power about her.

He straightened up, and followed after her.

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Yuui could barely stand with how bad her legs were shaking. She collapsed to the ground with a groan, and she lay on the ground, trying to catch her breath. Thankfully she wasn't the only one who had collapsed; actually there wasn't any of the trainees that weren't either bent over, leaning against something, or collapsed on the ground, all trying to catch their breath.

A pair of feet was suddenly in front of her, and she glanced up warily. Her blue eyes met with warm brown ones, and her mind registered the tray that he balanced in one hand and the cup that he was handing to her. Yuui blinked, sat up, and took the cup from him. She glanced into the cup curiously and was beyond glad to see the water in the cup.

She smiled gratefully up at him. "Thank you so much!" She said cheerfully and downed most of the water in one gulp.

He smiled back at her, hesitantly, and handed another cup to the man next to her. "Actually you should be thanking the captain. Most Captains wait to give water until the end of the day." He explained, and hurried off to give the other their cup of water.

Yuui glanced over at the captain curiously, and took a smaller sip of the water that she had left. He was currently talking to two teenage boys, and the man beside him, the one with the ponytail, and the glasses, looked like he could explode at any moment.

Yuui rolled her eyes, and glanced around her again. Once again, now that they were now refreshed, the other solders were glaring at her.

She chuckled nervously, and took another sip of her drink. She briefly wondered how Fai was doing. It should be about time for the interview with the Match Maker to be over…

'Oh well I'm sure whatever he's doing it has to be better than having to do a mile long ropes course three times, within an hour.' She thought taking another sip.

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"Take a seat, Ms. Flowright… or should I say Mr. Flowright?" Yuuko said with a smirk that only widened when she saw the look of shock on the boys face. She had to admit that if she hadn't already known about him being a boy, even she would have been fooled into thinking he was a she.

"H-how…?" Fai stammered. It just wasn't fair! Yuui and he'd gotten almost halfway there, and they'd already been figured out.

"Sit down, Mr. Flowright. You are not in trouble… yet." She added, as Fai finally took her advice and sat down. She leaned over and took the pipe lying on the table, and loaded it with tobacco. She lit it and took a long drag, and blow out the smoke.

Fai kept his head down, his bangs hiding his eyes. He was scared, there was no telling what this woman would do with the information she had somehow gotten. While not joining the army wasn't particularly offensive; cross dressing was. But even more disturbing when it was a man disguised himself as a woman. It was considered 'disgusting'.

"Now, Mr. Flowright, before I decide what I am going to do about this little situation I would like you to answer one question." Yuuko said, talking in a voice that was barely above a whisper. "What is your reason for doing such a thing?" She asked.

"Reason?" He echoed.

"Not many people decide to fool the army on a whim… especially not doing it at such drastic measures as you two are doing." Yuuko pointed out.

Fai thought for a second. He didn't think just saying 'because my sister told(basically forced) me to' would be a good answer…

"I'm…. I'm doing it for honor." He said, finally raising his head and looking her in her red-violet eyes.

Said eyes stared at him, the amusement that had been in them till now was gone, replaced with cold look. She raised an eyebrow at him.

"No, not my honor, my sisters." He explained, turning his face back towards his lap again. "You see my sister isn't the most… feminine person. Nor am I anywhere close to masculine. And our guardian, Ashura, is always disappointed when we don't act like we should. So by doing this I'm trying to help bring honor to my sister."

"Even if that means getting married to another man? Yuuko asked, taking another drag and blowing out the smoke.

Fai nodded, without hesitation. "well I don't really think gender should matter anyway.." Fai said, attempting to smile and break the tension that had filled the room. "And if I can make my sister happy by doing this I will."

Yuuko kept her gaze on him for a moment before she nodded. "very well. I will help you complete your goal." She leaned over, grabbed the stamp off of the table. And pressed it to the bottom of the paper that lay beside her. Instantly a mark appeared leaving an imprint of her seal. "you have my 'stamp' of approval, as some say. Now as your sister might have informed you, you are allowed one wish, that your husband mush follow. What is your wish?"

Fai thought for a second, trying to remember what Yuui had told him to wish for. " I wish… that my husband-to-be would not have sex with me until the war is over."

Yuuko glanced over at him again. "you do know that that wish makes your chances of marrying at all drop dramatically? Not everyone believes this war will be over quickly."

"yes I know… but it's the only way that I can protect me and Yuui." Fai answered.

Yuuko nodded. "very well." She said, scribbling something down on the paper with the stamp. "You are, however, in luck. A man came in yesterday. He was quite reluctant to the idea of marrying anyone, with his schedule you just might get your wish."

"Really? Who is he?"

"I think you already know him." Yuuko said her eyes once again shining with amusement. "His name is Kurogane Suwa."

"T-the Captain?!" Fai squeaked, a light blush appearing on his face.

Yuuko nodded. "The very one."

Fais furrowed his eyebrows and thought. The man was a bit of a hard ass, and there was no telling how he would treat a (supposed) woman. But Kurogane would be busy most of the time, with training the troops and would probably be too tired at night to think on his 'manly urges'. And Fai could see Yuui when he wanted. As long as neither of them got caught.

"Alright if you think we can be a good match, I'll marry him."

Yuuko only smirked

Muwahahahaha~! Finally…. Damn writers block… now I'm on my way to (try) and write on FP!