Author's Note - I don't know yet if I want to continue writing this story, so I wanted to get the opinions of other people. This is just a quick oneshot that encompasses some of the basic ideas, but it could become something more. Please let me know what you think!

In a dark room, in the house of a deceased Samurai warrior, a young woman held her brother's shaking, sweating body as alcohol seeped from his system. His cries had kept her awake for hours, muttering in a tongue foreign to her, a word which only Nathan understood.


Elizabeth had always known her brother to be a drunk, ever since he'd returned from Little Big Horn. She couldn't remember a time that his speech hadn't been slurred, that his footsteps hadn't been unsure. She couldn't even remember a time that he hadn't been at arms length with a bottle of some strong drink. Even on the morning he'd told her to pack her things because they were sailing to Japan, he couldn't stand up straight.

Nathan shifted in her arms and she slipped one out from under him to let the feeling return to it. His breath no longer smelled of the stuff though. Instead it had sounded of desperate hallucinations, but for now he was silent, breathing fitfully in the dark. Elizabeth wished they could stay like this forever, but she knew that in the morning the sun would rise and the doors of the house would open, and a foreign landscape would be revealed to her, a village whose people she could not communicate with, whose small clan of warriors had terrified the entire Japanese army just days ago.

Yet it was her own folly that had led her to be in this situation. She blamed her overly strong sense of sisterly affection and worry for Nathan. She should have left the soldier to his battle. If she had just turned her horse away sooner...

Tears stung her eyes and she brushed them away. It was no use playing it over and over again in her mind. One could only think back on a traumatizing event so many times before going crazy. But one could forever chastise the self for a stupid mistake that could not be taken back.

The silence of the room took hold and she let her eyes fall shut.

When she woke, the sun was streaming through the doorway and Nathan was gone.