A/N: So, I've gotten decent response to 'The Consequences of Bathing', and several readers have requested that I continue with that plot. And much thanks to an inspiring e-mail from earthbender068, I have decided to tackle this project. Here goes chapter one, and I hope that you like it. Again, this is first person from Yuya's pov. If I actually tried to write from Kyo's perspective, I think my mind would sizzle like bacon. His thoughts scare me. Anyway, read, enjoy, and review. And remember that this is drawn solely from the anime, as I have yet to finish the manga.
The characters of Samurai Deeper Kyo are not mine.
Mind of a Woman, Heart of a Samurai
The Morning After
I never have been a morning person. I don't know why, I mean, I've always had to be an early riser. Be it when I was a girl and lived on a farm with the nice family that had taken me in after my brother's death, or when I began sneaking around the countryside in search of dangerous men for money. Even since my acquaintance with Demon Eyes Kyo and his band of merry misfits, I've had to get up early in the mornings in order to do the necessary shopping for our long walks across the country.
And, even though I have been getting out of bed at first light for many years, I still absolutely loathe it.
For some reason, I hate it so much more today than normal.
Perhaps it is that, though I am not fully awake, I can tell that my body is going to carry a dull ache that is already pulsing throughout all of my muscles. Or maybe, it's just that I'll have to face up to what happened last night. I'll have to face him.
Not that I'm ashamed of what we did. Quite the contrary, actually. No, it's just that I'm unaccustomed to this sort of relationship. Well, if that's what one would call what Kyo and I have. I mean, we did make love last night, and he did ask me to share his bed afterward. But, what exactly does that mean?
The sun's rays filter through the slatted window covers, and they bring with them awareness. I revel in the minimal warmth of the winter sun on my eyelids, as I ponder exactly how I will greet my first day as a woman. A long, languid stretch forces its way through my body, and I feel the muscles pull and complain. The ache between my legs brings itself to the forefront, but it is still dull and not exactly bothersome. I embrace that ache because it is proof of how my life has changed.
Slowly I open my eyes and take in our hotel room, which is, actually, rather plain. The only furniture in this little haven consists of a low table that holds my revolver, hair pick, and a few of the house toiletries, and the brazier in the corner that has burnt itself down to barely smoking embers. At precisely that moment, I feel the first touch of frosty air across my face, and I know that the previous night's cold has seeped into our room and festered.
Wincing ever-so-slightly at the pains in my joints, I pull myself to sitting while attempting to use the bed covering to conserve my modesty. I know that Kyo is sitting along the wall, with his Tenro propped against a shoulder, and I feel his burning gaze as his eyes follow my movements. His stare is heavy as I half-drag myself to the little stove and place a few small logs across the coals. I pray to numerous kami that the fire catches...and it does. Whew! Now, I can get warmed up while I dress for my daily routine.
I make my way back to the futon and plop myself onto my stomach, not quite ready to start my day.
"Are you ill, woman?" Kyo's voice is even and deep, as if he were asking something he has asked every day since we met. I open my eyes and focus on his. His gaze burns into me, but not with the same intensity as the night before. This is the same piercing look that he has been giving me regularly since we've begun traveling on our own. As if he's pondering my very purpose at his side.
I fool myself for a brief moment, thinking that maybe he's actually worried about my well-being.
"No, I'm just a little sore..." I leave the phrase trailing in order to gauge his reaction, and he splendidly disappoints me.
"Well, just as long as you have enough strength to carry supplies. It's market day in this town, and we need to restock."
I feel the heat in my face that had started as a result to my ignorant happiness at the thought that he cared burn into a full on rage.
"Could it really hurt you to give a shit?" I shout as I yank myself from the bedding and turn my back on him.
I should have known that Mibu Kyo is still the heartless killer that he has always been. One night of passion with a seventeen year old girl would not change what is ingrained in his very being. I just wish that he would show me something. In our wanderings to find his body, Kyo had fought many an enemy who wanted to keep him from regaining his ultimate power. I almost always got hurt in the process, and I almost always ended up being cared for by Benitora or even Okuni. Never once did Kyo acknowledge my injuries, nor did he act as if my wounds meant anything to him.
Of course, I generally slowed our progress, and I was the worst person to have at one's back in a fight. Deep down, I realize that this is how most of our comrades had seen me. So, why not Kyo?
So, does that mean that he was just using my body last night?
Stifling the urge to cry and throw a tantrum at my own ineptitude, I toss on my kimono and tie it tightly while gathering my things and storming out the door.
Fine, if he's going to be an arrogant bastard, then I have no need to even look in his direction.
As I make my way from the hotel, toward the market place, I can sense Kyo's heavy aura as he paces along behind me. Clenching my teeth in aggravation, I delve into the throng of villagers and vendors. I know that I won't completely lose him in the chaos, but maybe I can get just a few minutes to gather my gibbering thoughts.
I realize that the masses are parting before me as if by magic, and wonder momentarily why. I do not carry a heavy aura like Kyo or Yukimura, nor am I exceptionally beautiful like Okuni or Sakuya. I may be only slightly exotic looking with my blond hair and green eyes, but this village is often visited by foreigners from another island nation known as Britain, so surely I am not enough to create such a spectacle.
Absently, I glance around me, and my eyes are drawn to the shimmer of several mirrors that are for sale at a random stall. I step closer and glare into the shining glass hoping that I am looking at a painting of some other monstrous looking blond woman. Perhaps a rendition of some oni.
No, it's not a demon nor an ogre. It really is my reflection staring wide-eyed at me.
No wonder the villagers are gawking.
My kimono is skewed to the point of revealing way too much shoulder and way too much thigh. My hair, instead of flowing gracefully in waves down my back, is a veritable nest of tangles and looks as if I've tumbled through a wind-blown valley. My face is a mixture of many emotions. My eyes are not vibrantly green this morning and are shadowed beneath because of my lack of rest. However, the green irises are glinting in the reflection with a hint at the anger that I am feeling. And my rage is forming visibly across my shoulders, throat, and cheeks in an unbecoming flush. I can't believe I left my room looking like such a wild beast.
I close my eyes and take a deep breath. Calm. I need to calm down.
After a few relaxing breaths, I return my sights toward my reflection and quickly readjust myself into something that is somewhat proper. I will definitely have to go back to the room and fix myself before I can continue shopping.
Nodding slightly at myself and setting my jaw resolutely, I pivot on my heel in order to head back to my belongings.
I turn right into something.
Not something, someone.
Someone who is very tall and very squarely built. He is as broad as I am tall, and he is wearing a very heavy looking sword at his hip. Two massive hands bring themselves up to rest on my shoulders, and I have to lean back slightly to see into his face.
His hair is a disheveled orange wreck that hangs to his shoulders, and his face may have been charming once. The scar that travels through his left eye and down his cheek to his chin is wide and garish, and seems painful still. One bright blue eye locks onto mine, and he attempts a smile. Looks more like a grimace to me.
"Hello, there, girlie." He says to me as I lean back even more to try to step away. His hands grow heavier on my shoulders, and I am frozen in place. "Looks like you need some company."
I huff at his forwardness, and cross my arms over my chest.
"Nope, I've had about all the male company I care to, and I actually just want to be left alone." At this, I try to shrug his hands away from my body, cringing at the sensation of control over the situation spiraling out of my hands.
The two distinct snickers that I hear coming from behind me, tell me that I am probably not leaving this place without a 'companion'.
I sigh, and my shoulders slump in a slightly dejected way. What is with men constantly wanting to assert themselves over me? Do I really come across as weak?
"I'm sorry, sir, but I am really only out here to buy a bit of breakfast for my husband and me." Perhaps it will be safe to lead these men into thinking that I'm married, and they may have a jealous husband to worry about.
"Can't be too great a guy to let such a beautiful flower roam this dangerous place by herself." One of those massive paws slid its way through my hair, pulling carelessly at the tangled mass. I try not to jerk when the knots pull. "I'll escort you, and then maybe you can come be my wife." A chuckle from one of the men behind us.
I slide my glance to the side of us, and I notice that the entire wave of villagers and shoppers is giving us a wide berth. So, I won't find help here, either.
I decide that perhaps I can get him to let me go long enough to flee, so I look serenely up at him and bat my lashes. I speak in a sugary voice that exudes all of the naivety that a blushing seventeen year old newly wed should have. "I don't know about being your wife, since I am already married, but I could really use an escort to protect me from strangers." I slide my hands over the hulking things that are kneading into my shoulders, and try to hold a bright smile while not squirming under his caresses.
"I've just the place for us." He leans in to whisper in my ear and my eyes water at the astonishing amount of sake and old food on his breath. I really hope he doesn't try to kiss me. I am somewhat relieved when I am able to turn my head enough so that the wayward smooch only grazes my cheek. I dig further into my ruse by finding a blush somewhere in all of the internal struggling that my mind is engaged in.
"Really, can you show me, please?" I think I just giggled.
Using his hands to guide me, the man turns me smartly toward the nearest alley. I find myself thinking of his originality when I am halted abruptly and pulled roughly into the man's chest. My feet dangle nearly a foot off of the ground, and I begin to think that this may not have been such a good idea after all.
I am turned to face him, feet still dangling. I can see his friends, neither as tall nor huge but both just as ugly, posting guard at the end of the alley. My throat goes dry as I take in the rough visage before me, and find my self face to face with a disconcerting leer.
He tries to kiss me again, but I turn my cheek to his lips. Again and again he tries, and each time, I am able to keep my mouth safe.
"Dammit, woman, hold still." He shakes me, and my teeth chatter but I have a plan to get free.
I pull a hot blush to my cheeks, and I turn my gaze downward.
"Ummm, I'm sorry, sir, but I..." My blush deepens. "You are of a much larger build than my husband, and your hands are so great." Again, I blush while running my fingers along his. He gulps, and I know that I will get free. "I only wish to see if what they say about men with large hands is true." I ramble these words out quickly and attempt to hide my red face from sight.
He takes the bait, and laughs heartily.
"Sounds like that husband of yours is not really a man at all." He sets me down and glances back at his comrades who are sharing toothy grins. The tall man reaches to his sash and pulls at the knot hastily.
When he looks back up at me, hands still fumbling at his clothing, he comes nose to barrel with my revolver.
"Now, you will kindly step away and let me go, or I will shoot all three of you." I keep most of the waver from my voice, but there is no mistaking the unsteady grip I hold on my weapon. Even as I bring my other hand up to reaffirm my aim, the man chuckles in my direction.
"You have the nerve to pull that on me, girl? I am Daito the Bear, and I am wanted in every province in Japan. Don't think you can escape me." I've heard of this man before. He is ruthless in both taking what he wants from a woman as well as taking her life when he is through. His bounty has to quite high by now.
I allow a slow smirk as I think that perhaps I can make a little money today.
It is then that I feel the prickle of that unmistakable killing aura. Kyo has grown weary of my running, and he has come to collect me.
The smirk falls when I hear the barely restrained malice in his low-toned voice.
"That is mine. Whoever dares touch her, dies."