* Tokio and Hajime are products of history and Himura Kenshin is the product of
Nobuhiro Watsuki -- though I am choosing to use Watsuki-san's Saitou Hajime/Fujita
Gorou cause... have you SEEN the real dude *shudders*. I'm just adding my own twisted
mind into the messed up mix. Hmm, I think this is the perfect time for an "Oro?"
Ohohohohohohoho! ^_^v Well, enjoy!

* "I am the steel beneath the bloom," turning to him arrogantly, I faced him without
hesitation or fear. "Did you forget that...?"
Saitou Tokio was born into a world of prestige. Daughter of a wealthy daimyo,
and the descendant of an honorable family. In a time of shifting allegiances and
oncoming civil war, Tokio, living on the out-skirts of Kyoto will be embroiled in a
family conflict that will reflect the unrest of her beloved country. And with it, a
remarkable journey of a woman fighting to redeem justice and loyalty, even if it means
to discover a truth that might destroy everything that she had ever known and loved,
will begin. With it she will face the very test that will forge her into the woman
that will one day tame the Mibu no Ookami.

* Jihi - lady in waiting
* Sensei - teacher(s)
* Haha - One's own mother
* Chichiue - One's own father (formal/polite way of Chichi)
* Ojiisama - Grandfather (extremely formal)
* Ookami - Wolf
* -nii - Older brother (informal/nickname)
* Edo - Tokyo's old name
* Kami - god(s)
* Samurai - elite class of warriors
* Daimyo - equivalent to lords, they own land and are served by loyal samurai. They
are also responsible for the peasants in the region/area that they "rule" over for the
* Katana - a great sword (same as a daito), mounted edge up

Ookami no Kiba


The Cub in the Den

For longer than I can remember,
I was yours.

--Takagi Tokio
( Her Personal Journals )

It could be said that our match was meant from the very beginning. Haha would
tell me that the moment she saw Chichiue bringing him in from the mud and rain, she
knew he was god-touched. Wild hair and wilder eyes, Haha had a hard time trying to
clean him up and for four days he wouldn't let anybody touch him. In fact, he would
only gobble down the food that they provided for him before scurrying back into the
shadows of his small room, hiding from the world. The only reason Chichiue was able to
bring him home at all was because Chichiue had subdued him, if not a bit roughly, and
for a year he lived with Haha, Chichiue, and older brother before I was born.

In my mind, he had always been a part of the family. Never once did I question
where he had come from or why his eyes of amber wildness was not something anyone else
in the family have had the pleasure of possessing. And he? He had always kept himself
away from me and in so doing, heightened my interests, especially after my brother had
once so rudely denounced him in my presence as nothing more than a discarded jacket that
my father had picked up on his way home. It was then that I started to have an inkling
that he was not really related to me by blood.

I never knew that on those long summer days, when the heat bared down onto the
grounds of our estate -- established on the outskirts of Kyoto -- that he would watch
me with mild interest through hooded eyes of veiled thoughts. But I had, on occasion,
sneaked a few peeks at him when I would per-chance ran away from the chastising
presence of Reika, my jihi, and the rest of my grouchy sensei. I was the daughter of a
daimyo -- once the samurai of the shogunate forces -- and Chichiue wanted me to reflect
that prestige through studying the works of our ancestors -- especially the Confucian
philosophies -- as well as the books of the old eras passed. It was not at all to my
pleasure when it came to reading such old books, or the calligraphy lessons that at
first blackened my fingers with ink and would hang its weary scent around me throughout
the rest of the day. Haha had, of course, objected to such teachings of literature and
insisted instead that I learn my numbers. She was the daughter of a farmer, and to her
such trivial facts of words meant little without the backing of some numbers, and of
course, hard work. After all, she was the wife of a samurai turned daimyo and knew
well that, as all samurai, her husband had a distaste for business. So to make sure
that if I were ever "stuck" with such a husband, my finances would be in good hands,
mainly mine since for sure my husband would never want anything to do with it!

Thank the kami that Wakashi Etsuyo was my father's loyal retainer! An old man
who was the servant of my Ojiisama before even Chichiue was born, Etsuyo was a
brilliant man of numbers and exceptionally shrewd. Without him, Haha declared, our
house would have long ago been into debts too high to repay before father had had the
fortune of taking her as his wife! Haha knew this with a certainty considering how
Chichiue would spend his money so carelessly and without knowing the costs, or even
allow the duties of the servants to slip by unsupervised. She always claimed that
such a man would grow careless in the art of living and everyday business. He was
an honorable samurai from a long line of samurai elites, so why would he dirty his
hands in the world of money? Such earthly business could not touch him, and though
Haha surely doted Chichiue as much as any loving wife would, such arrogant distain
had thrown her into bouts of frustrated mutterings, as I had come to witness. Those
were the times when she would attack the weeds of our garden with a vengeance and an
unmercifulness that would put Chichiue's passions for the family sword to shame!

From what I hear, my Haha's headstrong stubbornness had, at first, turned
Chichiue away in his youth. But the Saitou family insisted on the match and Ojiisama
was as uncompromising as ever to Chichiue's objections. Family honor first, Etsuyo
would tell me in a wasteful voice when he spoke of the past.

Anyway, Ojiisama had seen immediately how well matched the two would be. As
Etsuyo always pointed out with a chuckle, Haha was the unusual product from the family
she grew up within. With a solid understanding of numbers in her head, since the
town's tax collector was a friend of the family's, she had ended up taking care of the
family's finances at a young age when her own mother had died while giving birth to her
youngest brother. Haha kept the family income afloat as she quickly taught herself the
lessons of dealing with the troublesome yen as well as the outside world of marketing
and trading. Outwardly, she had learned to keep the meek face of a well-bred woman,
especially before her father's guests, but her shrewdness had been what made my
grandfather's farm one of the most prominent in Edo.

My father's father had long been a childhood friend of my mother's father. When
the two old men had met and the head of the Saitou household finally got a chance to
lay his eyes on the Takagi family's eldest daughter, his decision was made in an
instant. My Samurai grandfather had turned to his old friend and inquired if the other
would like to strike a deal of marriage between their two families concerning the
eldest of both clans. With little protests and many joyous wishes, Chichiue met Haha
for the first time a week before their wedding day and flatly refused the match when
she had given him a tongue-lashing he was sure to never forget!

Haha saw Chichiue in all his fine arrogance and his distaste for practicality,
liking more to swim in ponderous thoughts of a philosophical nature -- when he wasn't
wielding the hard iron of his sword -- then to deal with the realities of life beyond
the katana. Apparently, Haha had taken one long look at him, listened patiently to him
speak for an hour, and when their time was up she promptly told both of my grandfathers
that if she were to marry such a man he would run both of them broke before their one
month of marriage was up! That was not a very flattering comment, especially since she
said it so boldly in front of my Chichiue. Even more to his discomfort, the harsh
criticism was coming from the mouth of a farmer's daughter -- a lower class than the
samurai -- and especially since she was a woman, which added to the insult. My
Chichiue had, apparently bristled once at her attack, bowed politely and left. That
night, years before I was conceived, he had argued till dawn with his father on such an
absurd match! But of course, Haha and Chichiue made it to the temple and by some act
of kami, made it home in one piece without killing each other, and their life as
husband and wife began. They had their first son a year after marriage and a strange
routine settled between them as well as a stranger fondness that reluctantly grew.

Chichiue learned to withstand Haha's harsh critiques and listen carefully to her
wise observations, while she in turn learned to tolerate his arrogance and even come to
love the many strength of character he did possess. Thus, did my childhood go, fraught
between these two opposing worlds of heart and mind, loving and yet always in conflict.
So, I ended up spending half of my days in the gardens, digging and planting while
mother repeatedly quizzed me on the sums and differences; while the other half was
spent in a small room with wafts of sunlight and the shadows of the candle's fire while
I read first out loud and then in gentle murmurs as I copied down the words with
growing hands and growing grace.

When I could break free of the chains that bounded me to study and labour under
the sun, I would watch with rapt fascination as Chichiue taught both my brothers -- one
by blood and the other only by name -- the art of the sword. I could only stare with
growing envy at such freedom and the accomplishments brought on by the power and skill
of the steel that my Chichiue wielded before I was caught and punished for my
impertinence. But never did I dare speak of my own desires to learn such arts of war
that were meant only for men. Such thoughts were forbidden to a girl like myself, and
so I kept my secret passion and watched my brothers learn the extension of themselves
in the gleaming blade beneath the sun, watched and envied with all of my heart till I
was given a similar path when I had grown to the age of six.

I had always known that he was the better swordsman, his talents far surpassing
my eldest brother's. My curiosity became somewhat more so as I watch him dance that
dance of death and life and honor, fascinated all the more by what I saw. He never
told me the name of his ancestors and I never asked, having not known he was any more
different from me at the time. For to me, he was my Ookami-nii, a playful nickname
that Haha dubbed him when he had once tried to bite her hand off in those first few
weeks at our home. "A lone hunter, that one," Ryou, my eldest brother would mutter to
me to scare me away. Saitou Ryou never liked him, but Chichiue wanted him to stay and
gave him a name, Hajime. But I never used that name either because to me he was
Ookami-nii, the lone wolf of our pack. And from the first day I learned to recognize
him as I do the beating of my heart -- when my thoughts were still unfocused and was,
but a novelty -- to the last day I will breath this earthly air, my spirit will always
be with him. Forever following that harsh and lonely trail he sought.

to be continued...


* The name Ookami no Kiba means Fang of the Wolf or Wolf's Fang
* This is my first Rurouni Kenshin Fanfic. Thank you for reading ^-^v
* For Mara who pointed out my blatant mix up with Hajime's name
*big sweatdrop* I actually wrote the story as Saitou Hajime, but in
my research, one of the sites did it the English way and totally mixed
me up -_-;; It sounded wrong anyway *sigh* maybe next time I should
trust my instincts ^_^;; But arigato for clearing that up for me! I
was feeling uncomfortable referring to Hajime as Saitou anyway ^_^v
* This story is a drama, not WAFF-alicious. Just don't want to surprise
anyone half-way through the tale ^_^;;
* Oh, and thanks for pointing out my errors! I finally got my butt into
gear and ran this through spell-check ^_^;; I'm so embarrassed. I made
so many errors... MOU! *Kicks her brain* You're suppose to function
correctly. -_-;;
* Okay, to clear up maybe mild confusion about daito at the beginning of
the translations. Daito is a long sword, a part of a set of two swords
-- the daito and the shoto -- known as the daisho. You may know shoto
as what many authors call the "wazikashi" and you may know daito as what
many authors opt to call the "katana". Now, when you put these swords
together, they make a set, called the daisho. Only those who were samurai
could legally wear daisho in public during the Tokugawa period. It became
a symbol of class and prestige, not just of skill.